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Triple H Injured Seriously, Implications for
WrestleMania, and TONS of Other News 
January 8, 2007

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Well, well, well....

A lot's happened in the four weeks since I last did one of these things. Almost none of it good. Sucky on the wrestling front (what with the whole Heyman/ECW mess). Sucky on the sports front (hell, just yesterday, both the UD Flyers and the NY Giants managed to lose at the very last second, causing me massive Sports Anguish). Sucky on the holiday front (and let's just say 

that the less said about the Dumbest Holiday Vacation Idea Ever, the better). Sucky, sucky, sucky, sucky.

So what (you must be wondering) is the magical Inspirado that has driven me to pick today to return from a month long sojourn? Well, part of it is simply the fact that -- whether you like it or not -- I'm gonna be kicking it back into gear around here. But mostly: it's More Suckiness!

Oh, the internet jackoffs will try to put forth a strong facade: making jokes, saying it's actually for the better, stiff upper lip, etc.... but it's news that sucks for all us fans pretty much as bad as it'll end up sucking for WWE.

To wit:

  • Triple H suffered an injury at last night's New Year's Revolution PPV. And it ain't just a flesh wound.
    WWE is reporting it as a likely torn quadriceps (something that, to be blunt, HHH should probably be able to recognize, so unless WWE is so asshatted that they think covering up a knee injury with a quad injury serves some kind of purpose, I'd tend to accept the current reports). And after an MRI last night, plans were immediately made for HHH to be flown to Birmingham, AL, today for further examination. And you don't get to see Dr. James Andrews unless there's something big enough wrong that it'll probably end in cutting.
    That's about as far as I'll go in terms of doom 'n' gloom on the actual prognosis at this point. Why bother when tomorrow or soon enough, we'll probably know for sure what's wrong? What's important to realize, at this juncture, is that short of an unexpectedly miraculous diagnosis, WWE is now officially in Panic Mode in terms of (what passes for) their plans for WrestleMania 23.
    Let's just say that the company already has enough problems on the creative end as it is. I mean, the type of problems that are utterly baffling and inexcusable, and only become moreso when you keep hearing about how many people are involved in the process and how many hours they put in to achieve this remarkably awful results. And now, these are the people who are going to be asked to salvage WM23 after it has just lost its SECOND planned headline-caliber match.
    Already, the plans for Hulk Hogan vs. the Big Show appear to have been tossed aside (in a recreation of the Hogan/Andre feud/match of precisely 20 years ago that also headlined WM in Detroit), per Big Show's current reluctance to do it as a one-shot "special attraction" deal at a reasonable price (as his current WWE contract expires in 3 weeks, another deal would have to be put in place for Show to come back for the one big match).
    And since Hogan's pretty much the only bullet left in WWE's "special attraction" gun (Austin is still not interested in wrestling per his health/neck concerns; Bret Hart is physically unable to compete no matter HOW many people keep Fantasy Booking him into One Last Match, and he's also resumed his general saltiness towards WWE, anyway; if Mick Foley can be convinced it's worth his time, pretty much the only thing WWE is gonna trust him with is a blow-off to his "feud" with Johnny Nitro, probably; and The Rock's people have made it clear that he'd really rather not have anything to do with WWE), that leaves the RAW Title Match as the de facto WrestleMania main event. Lord knows ECW has nothing worthy of the slot (more on that in a moment), and SD!'s not in much better shape.
    The planned RAW main event at WM23, as of the past few weeks? It was gonna be John Cena vs. Triple H for the WWE Title.
    With the current prognosis that WWE is circulating and the way HHH looked last night as he struggled mightily (and let's admit it, jackoffs, pretty freaking courageously) to complete a 20 minute match, there's no way that match will be happening now.
    Which is too bad, because I was gonna have fun these next few months watching as the ostensible "face vs. face" feud started tilting entirely towards HHH (outside of the under-16 girl demo, anyway), so that I could bitch and moan about how WWE should have just listened to my idea back in December, and spent the build up to WM turning Cena heel and then making peace with Federline so that K-Fed could become his personal rapper. OH the heat they could have generated!
    But enough of that.... what we've got right now is a WM without a main event, an incompetent creative team almost sure to fail at fixing the problem, and a current talent roster that doesn't exactly give them a whole lot to work with, anyway. What's worse is that I -- the self-professed master of the Plausible Style of fantasy booking -- don't even know if the problem CAN be fixed adequately. 
    We could simply be doomed to one of those severely underwhelming WrestleManias that come up ever 5 years or so. Cuz there is, after ample introspection, no single match that we want to see (or NEED to see, which is what the truly strong WM headliners make us feel). You don't have that set of one or two or three Good Stories heading into the Royal Rumble that all fans latch onto them and instinctively FEEL like they are the potential WrestleMania Headliners.
    I'm not saying that having HHH healthy fixes this (as I don't actually believe there are very many fans anywhere who were jonsing for a rematch of last year's WM main event)... but his absence, and the creative chaos it invites, certainly gives us an excuse to delve into the WWE's nearly counter-productive marketing and "star-making" efforts over the past 3 years. The combination of poor scouting and development (hi, Johnny Ace!), multiple stars willingly parting ways with WWE rather than continue dealing with the aggravation (hi, Johnny Ace!), and injuries (hi, Jo.... oh, wait, that one's not his fault), has left WWE with a roster from which it is almost impossible to invent a WM-worthy main event. And let's not even ponder creating the full, 10-match, WM-worthy card from this dreck. Even though that was a Fantasy Booking exercise that was a lot of fun (and not all the difficult at all) just 2 years ago, it's making my brain hurt today.
    You want a few ideas, though, don't you? I mean, me figuring shit out and polishing turds *is* what OO is all about, isn't it? So:
    If I had to guess at what WWE *will* do, I'll just cowboy up and start dealing with the fact that we're looking at John Cena vs. Randy Orton in the main event at WrestleMania 23. Why? Because, for whatever reason, WWE hasn't realized that Orton worth as a wrestler maxes out at "Lex Luger," and his value as a person is seemingly even lower than that. Well, perhaps that's a bit harsh: Orton only poops in girls gym bags and spills drinks on them if they refuse to acknowledge him as the paragon of all manly virtues. It's not like he traps girls into co-dependent relationships, makes sure they have access to his well-stocked Pantry of Pharmaceuticals, all with very tragic results. But that's neither here nor there.... for now, Lex Luger is wrestling's biggest "look at all the money and effort two companies put into him -- hell, WCW even made the same mistake with the guy a SECOND time -- for Not Very Impressive Results" story. And Orton's well on his way to being the 21st Century's biggest wad of mediocre results to be forcibly shoved down our throats in some sort of desperate ploy by a company that apparently doesn't know any better.
    The one possible bright spot here: if some dimwit at WWE HQ decides "Hey, Randy Orton as #1 Contender!" and some dimmerwit approves it, then at least you still have Edge lingering on the outskirts of the storyline. And as Orton flops his way to WrestleMania and people start having their doubts about his ability to pull it off (gee, you mean just like 3 years ago? yep, just like that), the undisputed 2006 Wrestler of the Year, Edge, could be plugged into a three-way match (Cena vs. Orton vs. Edge) that might actually get kinda interesting from a storyline perspective. I honestly don't know who'd be better served to be the babyface in such a scenario, but a soap opera break-up of Edge and Orton really does have to come sooner rather than later, and this could be the starting point for just such a storyline.
    Something I might not mind so much: if the backstage power brokers have their way, and manage to plug Shawn Michaels into the headline spot vacated by his good buddy, HHH. Unlike with HHH, here, the pieces are in place for the storyline to work best with Cena remaining the 100% white bread babyface, too, which is probably what WWE wants, anyway. I mean, let's face it: if Shawn Michaels could, for 2 months, erase almost all boos and cynicism directed towards Hulk Hogan to be the Pure Heel in *that* feud, he can do the same with Cena.
    It doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be "me-wanty" (and more "me-wanty" than the perpetually-petulant Cena comes off as 99% of the time). A simple "I've been screwing around having fun as part of a comedy nostalgia act, and even before that, when was the last time good ol' HBK even smelled a title shot? Too long. It's been exactly 10 years since I lost my smile on the Road to WrestleMania. But this year? This year, HBK found his heart. And that's too bad for you, John Cena. Because it's been two years since you came here with that title belt, and you've pretty much been running the show that whole time. But you don't even know *why* you were running the show. So let me clue you in, junior: it's because *I* let you. I was so busy trying to prove I was the absolute best performer this industry has ever seen by doing things like dragging one last watchable match out of Hulk Hogan's broken down carcass and trying to steal the show against that over-rated jag-off Kurt Angle that I forgot that there's only one thing that makes you the best in this industry. And it's the title you hold, John. But not for long. WrestleMania 23, homey: I'm coming for MY title."
    One simple speech like that, and I think you create enough buzz with the Cena-loving teenie-boppers to sell this show to WWE's current target demo (the 13-17 year olds), without hardly any Cena Mutinying like we saw over much of 2006. And I think the tiny subset of Fans Like Us get something *we* want, too: a WM Main Event that really should tear the house down. Afterall, Michaels is our guy who took personal pride in getting that one last match out of Hogan... I think he'd take the same pride in becoming only the second man (besides Edge) to get a truly good match out of Cena; and since Cena's no Hogan (this is a compliment to Cena), it's actually a deal where if Cena and Michaels are on the same page, and realize what's on the line, their final product could be significantly more than "good."
    Then, after that one last heroic deed, Michaels can rebabyface himself easily enough, and take the time off HE needs to get healthy (he's been hiding it well enough behind gimmick-laden Sports Entertainment Segments and formulaic DX tag matches, but he's essentially needed a break since LAST YEAR's Mania; if he didn't need that break, I'd say you *could* get lots fancier in terms of having Michaels actually turn heel against HHH to set up the run at Cena and stuff like that, but if it's unlikely he'd actually be given the title and a substantial reign with it as a heel, I'm not so sure that's a wise move).
    Anyway, that's really all I got: Orton (or Orton/Edge), and Michaels. Anything else, you'd pretty much have to go cross-brand, and there's not a whole lot there, either. I mean, nothing that fits into the "Plausible Style" of fantasy booking. Cuz sure, you could recharge the Benoit Badass Batteries and get him back in the mix at the level he deserves, or you could have RVD win the Rumble and cockily declare "Hey, Cena, I beat you once, and it was pretty fun and easy, so potsie, I'm gonna do it again at WM" and stuff like that could be fun. But you're smoking something even funkier than RVD is if you think WWE would actually try something that ballsy. I'll listen to any ideas you folks got, though....
    Bottom lining it: HHH is hurt, and 99% likelihood is that it's bad enough that WWE's WrestleMania 23 plans are in shambles today. Good times....
  • The rest of New Year's Revolution? Meh.
    There was a really cool and creative finish to the Hardy/Nitro IC Title cage match. Watching HHH gut it out to finish the second half of the tag title match was impressive. But other than that: nothing special, nothing fist-pump worthy, nothing you shouldn't be able to see for free on any given Monday. And all capped off by the predictably anti-climactic Superman Cena act, as he pinned Umaga to retain the title and (quite possibly) single-handedly eliminate whatever passed for the aura and luster of the Undefeated Umaga gimmick.
    Get the full results in the NYR PPV Recap.
  • OK, so I haven't had a chance to talk much about the ECW/Paul Heyman situation from early December....
    For those who need a refresher, or for those who (gasp!) actually rely on ME for all their news and thus didn't read about it elsewhere, the short version is: (1) Paul Heyman had one vision for the ECW December to Dismember PPV. (2) Vince McMahon and the Writer Monkeys had another. (3) Vince's way won. (4) Vince's way resulted in quite possibly the worst PPV of the past 2 years. (5) Paul and Vince had a talk the next day about this slight problem. (6) Paul Heyman was "sent home."
    Heyman was not released or fired. Nor did he quit. Which, to my way of thinking, seems to suggest that WWE's not interested in just gift-wrapping Heyman for TNA *and* (this is important) that Heyman doesn't consider TNA to be a career option worth making a whole big mess over at this point. It's sort of a hinky situation. Yes, I said it: HINKY~!
    Hinky enough that tons of people theorized it all had to be a work, a storyline. And folks, it might be, but if it is, it's an odd one, being told in a way that no wrestling story has ever been told before. That said, to *me* the most suspicious element of that weekend's developments was that Heyman went out on the PPV and cut a COMPLETELY non sequitur, very emotional, promo out of left field about a New Era of ECW and how the fans don't have any say in that, they never had any say in that, only Paul Heyman decided what went into ECW, and blah blah blah. The day after the show, I joked that the only reason Heyman was sent out to cut that promo (which was motivated by nothing, fit into no existing storylines, and didn't directly relate to any specific event or person) was because the show was running so light (even with the seemingly random promo, the show ended at 10:15 eastern time, a full half-hour before a standard WWE PPV).
    Then a day after that, Heyman cuts another emotional backstage promo, all the shit between him and Vince goes down, and Heyman's sent home, leaving nothing but a version of ECW that has no Paul Heyman to decide what goes into it. Implications? Ramifications? Certainly one's mind could race that SOMEbody had to know what was coming, and that's the only reason why Heyman would be sent out to cut that PPV promo and use some of the phrasology he selected. But just because Heyman might have known he was not long for WWE doesn't mean it's some vast conspiracy where this is just a storyline designed to have Heyman show up at a later time to re-assert his claim to being the ONLY man who decides what is "ECW" and what isn't and to be joined by the "ECW Originals" in a jihad against WWE's ECW (and the "New Breed"). It doesn't mean that at all. It just means that he might have had an inkling he wasn't going to be kept around after the tumultuous week he had daring to talk back to Vince McMahon and telling him what a shitty PPV he was putting together. Which would be a completely logical assumption.
    For the "it's all a work" people, I'll just say that Heyman's not just off TV, he's off the road, and he's nowhere to be seen in the creative process (which is no being overseen by the once-promising Paul Heyman apprentice -- who has long since realized which side of his bread is buttered, and has become a Stephanie Sycophant -- Dave Lagana).
    And furthermore: if "it's all a work," I'd REALLY like to know how the rumors of the Great Khali facing Bobby Lashley in the ECW main event at WM23 (possibly after winning the Royal Rumble, to boot) fits into your theories. Cuz it's one thing to make sure there's a clear difference between "New ECW" and "Old ECW" in order to tell a story. It's a whole other thing entirely to torpedo the entire brand with a mind-bendingly ill-conceived idea like the Great Khali doing anything more than standing around being Daivari's Big Mute Goon, much less headlining the biggest show of the year.
  • Maybe WM isn't dead in the water just yet? Because I sure as hell hope you were all sharp enough to start vomiting in horror last Monday night when Vince McMahon invoked the name of Donald Trump for no readily apparent reason.
    I know I was able to put 2 and 2 together pretty fast, anyway. A couple phone calls the next day confirmed my fears: Vince McMahon's current Bad Idea of the Month involves him and Trump feuding their way to WrestleMania. This is something that has also gotten strong support from NBC/Universal (which owns USA Network, and would love to use RAW to eek out a little extra publicity for Trump's "The Apprentice" which has largely been a ratings black hole the past 2 years), and Trump's people are actually talking to WWE and he'll do this if a satisfactory storyline/climax can be worked out.
    The idea isn't that Vince and Trump would wrestle, but rather that they'd each manage a wrestler to prove which one of them is the better mentor. Think Bobby Heenan at WrestleMania 5 boasting that he can turn anybody into a star.... so he dusts off Steve Lombardi, calls him the Brooklyn Brawler, and claims to have saved the man's career. We're not gonna be talking about top level superstars, here, folks. In fact, I know there's rumors that Rob Conway is headed back to SD! to reform La Resistance after Vince "fired" him last Monday.... but that's only if the Trump thing falls through, supposedly, as Conway would be Donald's Apprentice. "Vince, if this kid Conway hasn't reached his full potential, that's not his fault. It's his boss' fault. I guarantee you that in three months, I can unveil a brand new, ultra-luxurious, top-of-the-line Trump Conway, and it'll be YOOOOOOGE." Perhaps the only chuckle I'd get out of this atrocity would be if Vince actually went and picked the Brooklyn Brawler to counter. 
    Go ahead: take a deep breath. Do you smell it? That's the smell of 300 million Americans not giving a shit. But it's still something Vince would very much like to try to pull off.
    WWE is promoting a Donald Trump vs. Rosie O'Donnell "match" for RAW tonight. Don't ask (it simply falls under the category of "completely random shit that WWE is throwing out there with absolutely no explanation"). I figure the think will be played for laughs, with awful impersonators, and somehow the idea will be that Trump himself will show up to defend himself against WWE's slanderous presentation.
  • Speaking of Vince having his finger on the pulse of cutting edge pop culture and trying to ride the coattails of stars and celebrity "feuds" that are TOTALLY relevant and NOT AT ALL ludicrous and pathetic and who all sane and normal fans REALLY REALLY CARE ABOUT...
    Kevin Federline's heavily hyped RAW appearance last week drew a 3.9 rating. Which is up, at best, one-tenth over the current 10-week moving average. WWE, I believe, tried to spin the numbers in a way that makes this the Most Watched RAW in the History of Time and Space, but guess what? They lied, essa! Or at least: exaggerated. One completely honest way to spin it: This was DEFINITELY the highest rated RAW of the year to date! Nee haw!
    Coming off the Federline appearance, WWE got a lot of borderline mainstream press. Appropriately enough: much of the coverage was negative. Conan O'Brien and Craig Fergeson both used WWE/K-Fed as punchlines for show-opening jokes, and Conan's was particularly scathing: "So Kevin Federline's trying his hands at professional wrestling. [pause] I never thought I'd say this, but: I'm very, very disappointed in you, Professional Wrestling. I thought you were better than that." A segment on CNN took Conan's basic sentiment, and padded it out to 2 minutes, lambasting WWE for going to such extremes to promote a douche who lost his last shred of relevance the second Britney dumped him, and not even realizing how bush league that makes WWE look.
    Then again, I'm sure WWE's comeback is: if we're bush league for having Federline on our show, what's that make *YOU* for talking about Federline being on our show? Any publicity is good publicity, right? 
    Well, of course that's a false notion. But don't tell that to WWE! It's GREAT to have people on late night TV and entertainment news shows talking about how far your company has fallen down the "cool" continuum! All for that mammoth 0.1 ratings gain! [Internally, some at WWE are trying to say the .1-above-average is actually more like a 0.6-above-average because holiday shows tend to be lower rated. This despite the fact that the "holiday" for 99% of people ended at about 3-4am the night before, and Monday was for recuperating and getting back to normal. Granted, the Boise St./Oklahoma game that night DID turn out to be the awesomest thing ever, but it didn't even start to get good until after RAW was off the air, so that's no excuse, either.]
  • A quick Ratings Sketch, just to give you an idea one where all the shows/brands are at since last we spoke about this....
    RAW's last month has seen the show do ratings of 3.8, 3.7. 3.8, and 3.5 (before an easily-explained dip to 2.7 for the Christmas Night show). That's a month that pretty much fits in perfectly with where RAW's been scoring since September. It'll be interesting to see if that changes in the New Year, and if the "it's Monday Night Football's fault" people are vindicated when RAW gets back the 0.4 or 0.5 in the ratings that they lost starting in September....
    SD!'s last month has seen the show draw ratings of 2.8, 2.6, 2.6, 2.9, and 2.4. No holiday stuff should have directly affected any Friday nights in that span, and essentially, SD!'s December holds up pretty well versus the show's average-to-date since the launch of the CW Network. How, I don't know, since SD!'s December delivered four of the most snooze-worthy borefests in recent memory. SD! never seems to be as heroically bad as RAW can sometimes be, but more than ever, their peak for the genuinely good shows seems to be awfully low. They consistantly deliver in this very narrow range of quality labeled "watchable, but forgettable." 
    ECW? 1.8, 0.9, 1.5, 1.4, 1.5 in the last month. The 0.9 came the week ECW was pre-empted to a Saturday night timeslot. Tossing that number aside, ECW's December is just like RAW's: pretty much on par with averages since September (when ECW also lost, in the span of two weeks, about 0.4 ratings points; and there ain't no football on Tuesday nights, folks).
    TNA has probably the best story to tell. Since last we spoke, TNA has done numbers of 1.0, 1.2, 1.1, 0.9, and 1.1. As always, week to week fluctuations of one-tenth are pretty much meaningless (and mathematically speaking, Nielsen can't even defend their validity given the margin of error of their data collection methods/sample size). So it's useless trying to identify a trend within that month's worth of ratings. What *is* worth noticing is that this month's worth of ratings averages out to be stronger than the previous month (which was TNA's first month in the new primetime time slot). *THAT* is a good sign. We are at a point where it wouldn't take a whole lot of changes for TNA to overtake ECW as the #3 brand in the US. 
    [And don't think SpikeTV hasn't noticed this. As we speak, TNA has started constantly out-drawing the lame UFC retread shows that air on the network -- no matter how amazingly strong MMA is as a PPV phenomenon, the interest in weekly TV shows like the Ultimate Fighter and clip/highlight shows has dwindled to near zero, and even the "UFC Fight Night" specials aren't outdrawing TNA by much -- and is one of Spike's perceived "untapped commodities." There is talk of programming a 2 hour special on Monday February 12 -- when RAW is pre-empted for the Dog Show -- and these are also the first serious indications I've gotten the Spike would consider a full-time expansion to 2 hours for TNA. We'll see how all that goes.]
  • I think from here on down, it'll just be a catchall of significantly shorter newsbites.... just stuff that's collected over the past few weeks that oughta be mentioned for posterity, even if I don't have a whole lot of Timely Commentary to append.
    Like how I got a few e-mails after an indie show in Muncie, IN, where Trish Stratus made an appearance. Originally scheduled as a guest referee, Trish had to be re-booked as a roving ringside enforcer, because it turns out she was still listed as "on call" (she's a police trainee as part of that dumb new CBS reality show), gun belt and all, and needed to be able to leave the show at a moment's notice if duty beckoned.
    Nothing earth-shattering, I know, but any excuse is a good excuse when it comes to Trish. Plus, I have a grand total of zero perverse interest in handcuffs and being submissive and girls in uniform or whatever, so this isn't really "hot." But the idea of a still-technically-on-duty Trish slumming it at an indie show for shits and giggles is definitely damned "cool." And somehow, that's even better. 
    Also: not appearing at this weekend's WWE house show in Muncie, IN? Trish Stratus. Heh.
  • Kenny from the Spirit Squad has finally gotten a last name, now that he's a singles wrestler. And it's not "Doane." It's Dykstra.
    I have no solid information on either front, but I have to assume "Kenny Dykstra" *has* to have something to do with that guy who played for the Phillies when I was in junior high, right? It's just too similar-sounding to dismiss that as coincidence.  And also: as dumb as this sounds to a normal person, I wouldn't be shocked at all if Kenny was forced to drop "Doane" because there's already a referee named "Jack Doane" and he has more seniority so he has dibs on the name.
    I mean, afterall, this is the company that refuses to call CW Anderson "CW" on the grounds that Vince McMahon decided it would somehow hurt CM Punk's standing in the eyes of fans. That's right folks: I've said it once, and I'll say it again.... WWE, Prioritizing Things EXACTLY the Right And Most Sensible Way Since 2004!
    They've got somebody on Name Duplication Patrol, but seemingly no one in charge of informing the higher ups when the creative direction of the entire company is pretty much going on 2 years straight in the shitter. Makes sense to me.
  • A lot of people were shocked to see Ric Flair back on TV, when the (ahem) Reputable Wrestling Journalists all said he would be gone for six months to deal with his divorce proceedings.
    Well: Flair and his ex settled out of court (likely at the encouragement of the kids, who didn't want some ugly, drawn out affair, it is said), and there were no proceedings. In your face, "Wrestling Journalists"!
  • The same "journalists" are also probably overstating matters with regards to the Retirement of Big Show. Yes, his contract expires this winter. No, he doesn't sound interested in the WM one-shot deal at this point. But that's because, Yes, he is really hurting very badly and needs to get healthy which ain't gonna happen by March.
    But Show is also said to be very interested in maintaining his relationship with WWE, checking out any WWE movie deals that might come his way, and when his body is fixed, getting back into the ring.
  • Both Danny Doring and Diva Search Amy were released from WWE right before the holidays. I doubt either move was a huge surprise to anyone, nor do I expect many fans to notice.
    In Doring's case, the more and more ECW tries to "re-invent" itself by taking already borderline-unwatchable shows and adding in EVEN MORE Bob Holly and Test, the less they need an "ECW Original" who never made it past curtain jerker status.
    In Amy's case, he lone skill appeared to be "looking a lot like Jessica Simpson from the Dukes of Hazard movie when she wore cut-offs," which is nice and all, but the ability to wear jean shorts does not a career make. I'm sure Jimmy Wayne Yang will be just fine without her. Well: as fine as he'd have been with her, anyway. Which, given the sad state of the cruisers, probably isn't all that fine, afterall, but you get my point....
  • Brad Armstrong has been sitting in on commentary for one match per week the last month or so on ECW.... why? Well, they aren't coming right out and saying anything, but the elephant in the room is that Tazz's WWE contract expires this winter, and he doesn't have a new one in place. There are plenty of varying rumors about the whys and hows of the situation, and speculation about how it'll turn out, but for now, it really does look like WWE's hedging its bets a bit by trying out Armstrong.
    Going back a bit, I believe the conventional wisdom was that Tazz got lowballed on an initial contract offer and decided to play tough in negotiations. More recently, Tazz has been saying that he hasn't been offered anything but is ready to listen. So: believe whatever, but know that there is definitely SOMEthing going on here....
  • Last thing for today, and something that I have been DYING to get off my chest for the past few weeks: Road Dogg and Billy Gunn really just need to zip it. Not only for the good of their own standing with fans, but for the good of TNA. Because what SEEMS to play in front of 800 marginal losers who didn't even pay to see the show in Orlando is NOT what plays with the fanbase at large, OK?
    "Voodoo Kin Mafia" is a gay-ass name. Their ranting and skits are the worst kind of ludicrous, hyperbolic, full-of-shit, hypocritical nonsense. And even Road Dogg's usually over-powering charisma and verbal skills seem to be taking a hit, as the last VKM promo on Impact wasn't just stupid: it was also Just Plain Bad. If Vince Russo or somebody actually thinks this will ever catch on or be perceived of as "cool" beyond the captive audience of non-paying fans in Orlando, they really are deluding themselves.
    The VKM Million Dollar Challenge, to the rest of the average wrestling fans out there, will just seem desperate and dumb.
    Now, that said....
    TNA, if you really do have one million dollars you are willing to spend on the off chance that you can pull something off that would get fans talking and would make WWE look ridiculous, then I've got just two words for ya:  Call Me.
    I'm serious. It'd be expensive, and I'm not *COMPLETELY* sure it would work perfectly (but my confidence goes up to near certainty provided somebody with half-a-brain handles the logistics and picks the right spot), but I have The Idea. The Idea that could make you seem cutting edge. Make fans think of you as viable competition. Make WWE look stupid in the eyes of even their staunchest fans. Trust me, this is one DAMNED good idea.
    You can have it for $100,000 -- half paid to me upon revelation of the plan to you, half paid upon you executing said plan (or any plan substantially similar in method). If you can pay both Don West and Jeremy Borash to be two of the most phenomenally awful shitheads on all of television, you can scrape together this case for The Idea Guaranteed To Get Vince's Goat.
    Oh, and WWE: if you want the plan and a few of my ideas for how you MIGHT be able to stop such an ingenious plot, the cost to you is $200,000. Which I figure should at least make a tiny dent in the amount of booze and therapy I'd need to go through if you idiots actually think John Cena vs. Randy Orton is the answer to anything. 
    Call me.
  • I think that's enough turd polishing and grandstanding for one day, don't you? 
    I promise it won't be another 3-4 weeks before I see you again, kids; 2006 might have been the Shittiest Year Ever, but I'm deadset on making sure 2007 doesn't top it. Near the top of my to-do list is Making Sure Everybody Knows that OO is Back and As Good as Ever.
    See you soon. And I guess I'm geographically obligated to add "Go Buckeyes." But SHHHHH, don't tell anyone: I frankly couldn't give a shit. I'll be more cheering against Florida than for OSU later tonight. Honestly: cheering for ANY Florida-based college football program is about a billion times worse than cheering for the New York Yankees. The Yankees are just rich. Florida football programs are rich, crooked, and in possession of the kind of weather that allows for dumb-girls-in-bikinis all year round, which makes it that much easier to lure the dumb-guys-who-are-big-but-should-not- tehcnically-have-graduated-from-sixth-grade-yet-but-no- worries-because-we-have-people-on-staff-to-fake-the-grades to be recruited that much easier. (a) It's like fish in a barrell, and (b) the Man's Brand of football is played in the cold and on surfaces that can, only partly-hyperbolically, be referred to as Frozen Tundras.
    And thus, it is infinitely satisfying anytime one of these teams can be ritually humiliated in a big game. Doubly so if it's Miami. But Florida will do for tonight.
    Later on, folks....

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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