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Bam Bam Bigelow, Dead at 45...
Plus Lots of Other Weekend Newsbites
January 20, 2007

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


It's been no secret around here that The Rick's life has pretty much been varying degrees of a living hell for a while, now....

But I had no freaking clue how bad things could get until two nights ago, when I tuned into a Dayton Flyers game (on the road versus the Hated Charlotte 49ers), and was treated to something I never -- in one billion years -- could have anticipated. I not only ended up sitting through an emasculating 20-point Flyers loss to a barely-mediocre team, but I had to sit through it while

Jonathan Coachman (of WWE RAW fame) and Pete Gillen (the hated ex-coach of the even more-hated Ex-zavier) commentated.

To be fair: Coach wasn't awful. But he was a VERY tepid entry into the category of "learned everything thing he knows about sports commentary from a classroom or from a producer." He did nothing but spout bland cliches, without even a hint of processing what was going on on the floor in front of him so he could make a spontaneous and insightful comment about it. Gimme "rough around the edges, but actually intelligent and interesting" over "heavily produced and watered-down to the point of being useless" any day.

And Gillen? Let's just say he must have brought his loafers. His light ones. If you catch my drift. I think he would have blown UD Coach Brian Gregory right there, live on FOX SportsNet, if decorum had allowed for it. I mean, honestly: a 20 second ramble about the tastiness of the man's cologne? Even The Coach was speechless. And, to paraphrase my most hated arch-nemesis in all the world from his post-game analysis: I think Gillen's Alex P. Keaton fetish has just been revealed for the entire world to see.

If you don't know what I'm talking about? Relax, it's not a big deal; it's just that for the past 3 years, Dayton has been coached by Michael J. Fox's doppleganger, and I derive no end of bemusement from this unfortunate fluke of appearance and demeanor.

Enough pre-rambling for today. Sadly, we got some pretty heavy material we need to get to:

  • Scott "Bam Bam" Bigelow, has passed away. He was 45 years old.
    Much as with John "Earthquake" Tenta, last year, many fans might be shocked to find out how (relatively) young Bam Bam was, but it's a testament to how quickly he progressed in the mid 80s as a rookie that he was a top level WWF star by roughly the age of 25 (at a time when most big WWF stars were a decade or more his senior).
    At the present time, there is no word on a cause of death for Bigelow. He was found dead on Friday morning when his girlfriend woke up at the apartment they shared, and authorities will be performing an autopsy. Nothing nefarious is suspected, though it may be worth noting that severe back injuries caused Bigelow's retirement a few years ago, and that his health was complicated by a serious motorcycle accident in 2005, and that his finances were in a bit of a wreck following an expensive divorce.
    Still, despite those ominous rumblings, really prepares you for this unfortunate news today. Obviously, on this occasion, I send my own (and all your) best wishes to Bigelow's family and friends who have lost so much more than we fans have.
    But as fans, there is a lot to remember about Bam Bam Bigelow. He headlined for the WWF. He headlined in Japan. He headlined for ECW during their most successful and formative years. He had genuine success almost everywhere he went, and still: those on-paper accomplishments were almost ALWAYS overshadowed by the sheer fact of Bigelow's freakish in-ring ability.
    As a ferinstnace: Bigelow's career probably peaked in 1995, when he faced Lawrence Taylor in the WrestleMania 11 main event. That's the "on-paper" part of the accomplishment. But here, 12 years later, what *I* remember of that night (and what most fans took away from it) is the fact that Bam Bam Bigelow took an untrained, retired, partially-out-of-shape football player and had a bona-fide entertaining 15 minute match with him in the main event to the biggest show of the year.
    We all have our mental rolodexes, and our list of "celebrity wrestling disasters," including your Rodmans and Malones and Lenos and Arquettes.... and when the WWF made the call to put Bigelow versus LT on in the main event slot at Mania that year, it could have been another one for the list. But it wasn't: it was damned enjoyable and satisfying. Thanks in part to a carefully doctored "match script" (a la Hogan/Warrior at WM6, and with said Script Doctor, Pat Patterson, taking on the task of being the in-ring referee for Bam Bam/LT just in case anything went too wrong). But also thanks to Bam Bam's remarkable athleticism and natural in-ring acumen.
    The same thing happened in Japan and ECW, where people don't so much remember the title reigns as they remember the matches and performances (some of which had the effect of "making" stars out of guys like Tazz and Rob Van Dam).
    And none of this should really come as a shock, once you go back and discover the sheer velocity with which Bigelow ascended through the ranks of the 80s wrestling scene. Bigelow was "discovered" at the age of 23 by New Jersey wrestling trainer extraordinaire, Larry Sharpe. This was in 1985, and Bigelow hadn't really don't anything athletic since he was an above-average performer on his high school's wrestling team. Less than two years later, Bigelow was tag teaming with Hulk Hogan and headlining WWF events.
    Although Bigelow's remarkable success essentially made Sharpe (and his "Monster Factory" facility in NJ) into a northeast staple for aspiring wrestlers, it didn't actually do Bam Bam himself much good. Following just a few northeast indie dates during his training in 1985, Bigelow was brought into Memphis by Jerry Lawler and instantly became a hit. He was winning titles in one of US wrestling's strongest territories by mid-1986. A make-over (in which Bigelow became the Hated Russian Yurkov, or something like that) turned Bigelow heel and earned him a spot in the World Class territory that brought him to the attention of Vince McMahon and the WWF.
    Just as Vince's bodybuilder fetishism was really kicking in, Bigelow was a dumpy-looking fat man who did things in the ring that even Vince was impressed by. A contract was signed, Bigelow added still a few more tattoos to his arsenal, Crusher Yurkov was forgotten, and around the time of WrestleMania 3 (in March 1987), vignettes started airing, teasing the debut of Bam Bam Bigelow.
    Reprising the "manager search" gimmick done by Macho Man Savage two years previous, Bigelow spurned offers from all of the WWF's heel managers at the time.... but he also ultimately decided on a rather un-Elizabeth-like option in the end: the lumpy, bulbous fashion eyesore that was Sir Oliver Humperdink. Despite the rather odd managerial choice, Bigelow experienced immediate success, and fans got a kick out of the 400-pound guy doing cartwheels and dropkicks and all sorts of other stuff they weren't used to seeing.
    Sadly, as much as a kick as the fans may have gotten out of it, Bigelow's co-workers at the time were not impressed. A locker room full of mostly 30-something (and older) veterans who needed years (and in some cases, decades) to earn a big paycheck on the WWF stage took it on themselves to make sure this 25-year-old hot-shot knew that they didn't approve of his un-earned success.
    Obviously, I was too young to even be reading Apter Mags yet at that point (much less insider newsletters), but retroactively, I do remember hearing stories about Bigelow being thrown around pretty good by no one less than Andre the Giant himself in house show matches. The lumps and bruises and general animosity bubbled under for most of Bigelow's first WWF tenure, and ultimately led to his departing the company after less than 2 years. Again, going from retrospective things I've heard in passing over the years, a few people attributed the departure on a general mental weakness on Bigelow's part (and said it was the same thing that kept him from ever nutting up and using his freakish athleticism to play football at any competitive level)... but from where I sit, I say there's never any good excuse to have to put up with horseshit from people less talented than you, no matter how long they've been employed.
    [This barely-veiled non sequitur potshot against Bob F. Holly has been brought to you by the Opponents of JBL Soap Rapings Coalition.]
    Regardless: Bigelow finished up with the WWF and went looking for work elsewhere, mostly because of the political bullshit. It didn't take long for him to start building the kind of "indie wanker street cred" that he didn't have a chance to build during his meteoric ascent from rookie to Memphis to WWF main eventer.
    Bigelow first spent a year working mostly in Europe, including headlining some of the very first pro wrestling shows ever staged in the freshly unSoviet-ized nations (and even in Moscow, as I now recall, thanks to this being right around the time of my immersion into the Apter Mags).
    His frequent flyer miles began accumulating even more in 1991, when Bigelow added Japan to the list of places where he worked regularly. And it's here that he probably ended up doing the most amount of good for his career... at what turned out to be pretty much the modern era's peak for puroresu in Japan, Bigelow was one of the top foreigners working there, forming a tag team with another big man known as Big Van Vader. At a time when gaijin tag teams were all the rage in Japan -- from the Steiner Brothers to the awesomely-named "Miracle Violence Connection" and even to the Road Warriors or the later knock-off in which Kensuke Sasaki briefly replaced Animal -- the duo of Bigelow and Vader may have been the most impressive of the bunch.
    They worked top line matches, and never failed to deliver the goods. As I went through my unfortunate "aspiring wanker" phase, a lot of the "best of Japan" compilation tapes I could get my hands on included Vader/Bigelow matches from the past 2-3 years, and there's no doubt: if you likey the workrate, then these were for you. The Vader/Bam Bam pairing even got a bit of exposure domestically very early on, as I remember them appearing on a "Starrcade" PPV while I was still in high school and was a year or three away from discovering the internets or the tape trading or anything.
    Through his mostly-overseas work, Bigelow got the reputation of being an absolute top-shelf performer, and because his greatest success came in Japan (where tenure and seniority is, if anything, considered MORE important than it is here, even if it is enforced in a significantly less juvenile fashion), his "street cred" was no longer in question, either. Shortly after WCW decided to pick up Vader and had great success with him as a monster heel, the WWF decided to lure Bigelow back into the fold in late 1993.
    Bigelow may have first feuded with the late Big Bossman (by way of re-establishing Bigelow and also hastening that particular WWF departure for Bossman), but caught a bit more fire as he adopted Luna Vachon as his "manager" and moved up the ranks as a bankable mid-card heel. [Trivia note: a rare Rick TV Appearance comes during King of the Ring 1993, when Vachon makes a run-in to assist Bam Bam during the KotR finals against Bret Hart.]
    From there, Bam Bam and Luna easily handled the rapidly declining comedy act of Doink the Clown (and his midget Dink) as we entered 1994. Then, I believe Luna managed to piss somebody off backstage (that little spitfire!), and Bam Bam was relegated to tag team work by the end of that year. I can't recall the details, but after briefly working with Adam Bomb (Johnny "Raven" Polo was their manager), Bam Bam ended up as a member of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation, working primarily in a tag team with Tatanka.
    They were feuding with -- and traded the tag titles with -- the makeshift duo of Bob Holly and the 1-2-3 Kid when the WWF decided to yank Bam Bam from the mid-card and give him another shot on top. Following a tough loss to the Kid and Holly at the 1995 Royal Rumble, Bam Bam "snapped" and assaulted ringside guest Lawrence Taylor when LT dared to applaud for the other team. The angle was insanely well done, and it left Aspiring Wankers like me spending a long night in front of our dorm room computers with their fancy 2800 baud modems, awaiting more details of this Shocking Development.
    By the next night on RAW, it was pretty obvious that this *was* a work, not a bona fide shoot, as Bam Bam and LT started down the path that brought them to the WrestleMania 11 main event. In that match, Bigelow did just about all of the heavy lifting, and then, just as LT looked on the brink of collapsing in exhaustion, Bigelow took a flying forearm shot from the second rope, laid down, and let LT cover him.
    From that loss against an NFL Hall of Famer in a high profile match that got coverage on ESPN, the WWF braintrust had a notion of slingshotting Bam Bam to top-level babyface status. But at this particular point in time, the "WWF Braintrust" had one entire lobe dedicated to Pandering to the "Clique" of Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall. So, well before they conspired to send Shane "Dean" Douglas packing, the Clique were pretty instrumental in short-circuiting Bam Bam's face turn and push before it ever really got underway. Was this done just to help facilitate Nash and Michaels almost-simultaneous face turns (both had been heels as recently as November '94, and both campaigned hard enough to be on top as babyfaces by May '95, leaving Bigelow little room to also squeeze into the suddenly crowded picture)? Or was it just because the WWF doesn't like fatties? I dunno, I don't really remember, other than to say that outside of a few spots tagging with or subbing for one of Nash/Michaels, Bigelow's push amounted to nothing, and he went from WM headliner to unemployed in less than a year.
    By this point, there was PLENTY of indie work, as well as tours of Japan, but it was a one-shot deal to work a kind of cutesy gimmick match against "Bamm Bamm" Gordy in ECW that led to Bigelow's next major career move. That one-off match came in 1996, as the company was still growing (but still didn't have any national TV or PPV exposure).. Still: it started the relationship between Bigelow and Paul Heyman, and soon after ECW launched as a full-PPV-capable promotion in early 1997, Heyman sought out Bigelow as a top-level star capable of replacing the guys that had been poached by WCW (such as Raven).
    Though Bigelow's treatment at the hands of WWF bookers on his way out of the company took some of the shine off his "WrestleMania main eventer" status, he was still just about as big/recognizable a name as there was in ECW at that time. WCW had taken the Ravens and Jerichos and Mysterios, and even the WWF had decided to abscond with the Ron Simmonsses and the Too Cold Scorpios. But ECW could bank on Bam Bam Bigelow to be a familiar name to pretty much any casual wrestling fan, and put him to work "making" their roster of newer stars starting in 1997.
    Bigelow was associated with the "Triple Threat" during his stay in ECW, along with Douglas and Chris Candido, but his biggest memories are defined by his opposition: feuds with Tazz and Rob Van Dam not only provided outstanding matches, but also went a long way to establishing both men as legitimate main event wrestlers in the eyes of fans just checking out ECW for the first time. Also, it should be noted that -- after nearly a full decade -- Bam Bam is still the man who perpetrated the Very First Holymotherfuckingshit Beatdown on Poor Spike Dudley, thus launching a 10-year attempt to recreate that sheer one-sided asskickery in subsequent Spike matches. I mean, seriously: that first Bam Bam/Spike PPV match? Very few wrestling-related things have stuck with me that vividly over time.... jaw-dropping, it was.
    But of course, it's the gold we gots to talk about from Bam Bam's ECW days.
    And Bigelow wasted little time accumulating it, as he found himself at odds with his Triple Threat mentor, Shane Douglas. Bigelow would go on to take the ECW World Title from Douglas on a PPV, only to drop it back the very next month at the November to Remember PPV in Douglas' hometown of Pittsburgh (trivia note: The Rick was in attendance with about a half-dozen other mutants from Dayton).
    Bam Bam was quick to repay the whole Hometown Hero thing, though, as a few months later, he staged an assault on Tazz's ECW TV Title (thought by many to be eclipsing the "World" Title in terms of value and importance). On a show in Bigelow's hometown of Asbury Park, NJ, he defeated Tazz to take the belt in a match that featured the memorable spot where both men fell through the ring and crashed to the floor (a spot later reprised on an entrance platform in a later rematch of theirs).
    As the TV Champ, Bigelow got slightly longer to reign than he did as World Champ, and the value of the belt (and the quality of matches involving the belt) CONTINUED to rise and exceed that of Douglas' ECW World belt. That was a trend that remained in place when Bam Bam was asked to drop the belt to red-hot up-and-comer Rob Van Dam in early 1998. In a match I still remember as one of the finest shown on free TV, Van Dam took the TV title from Bigelow. The match was shown in its entirety and took up more than 3/4s of ECW's allotted one-hour broadcast that week. Outstanding. Van Dam continued the legacy of the TV Title over the next two years: he never lost it, and frequently contested the TV belt in matches that far out-shone the World Title. Only a broken leg in early 2000 forced RVD to give up the TV Title.
    But by then, Bigelow was long gone from ECW. Why? Well, despite his many good deeds for ECW and despite his value as a true "name value" superstar, ECW's finances pretty much went to shit starting soon after their debut on PPV. Place the blame wherever you prefer, but the fact is that some ECW stars were young and single and hungry for success at any cost. Bam Bam? Was not. He was in his mid-30s with a family and kinda needed to know his paycheck would go through every week. 
    So the fiscal adventure that was ECW wasn't exactly a good fit for the maturing Scott Bigelow, and when WCW came sniffing around on another talent raid, Bigelow was happy to jump ship and take Turner's easy money.
    And make no mistake: that's pretty much all it was gonna be, at first.... a short term, high-pay-out contract to come in and to do for Goldberg what Bigelow did for LT at WM11. Namely, to take the stiff and make him look like a million bucks in a mini-feud. Go back, and Bigelow's name should appear several times on Goldberg's undefeated streak of early 1999...
    As tends to be the case, however, good deeds don't go entirely unnoticed, and Bigelow re-upped for a 2 year contract in early '99 with WCW. He was recast as primarily a "hardcore" wrestler (which meant working with a lot of other ECW cast-aways in utterly forgettable feuds), and dominated that division, even winning WCW's version of a Hardcore Title. It was in his second year with the company, though, that he found a bit more relevant success, as he teamed up with Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon to form the Jersey Triad. As part of the group, Bigelow held the WCW Tag Titles for a while in 2000.
    Around this time, health issues forced Bam Bam to take some time off, and I believe he was off TV for a few months by the time the WWF bought out WCW in early 2001. If he was still under contract at the time, he was not picked up by the Fed, and had to start contemplating his next career move.
    Sadly, his career of accumulated injuries really was catching up to him, and after less than a year of accepting indie and international bookings, Bam Bam contemplated retirement for the first time. You know how that goes, though: in wrestling, it takes a few retirements before one "sticks." 
    Bam Bam tried to tough it out, working VERY sporadic spots (almost exclusively in the northeast) before announcing he was hanging it up for good in late 2004. This time, it stuck. To the best of my knowledge, Bigelow's post-wrestling claim to fame was running a hamburger joint in Pennsylvania, but that project was abandoned when the issues of his health/motorcycle wreck (and accompanying legal problems)/divorce accumulated.
    I hadn't heard much else about Bigelow until today's tragic news. I wish I could say that the man who has given us fans so many outstanding Video Keeper Matches (more so than basically any other "big man" in the history of the sport, and more than a goodly number of your anonymous workrate flippy guys, too!) had slipped into a content retirement, but that would probably be sugarcoating things a bit.
    So instead of dwelling, I'd just like to say thanks for everything and godspeed, Bam Bam Bigelow.
  • Another developing story towards the end of the week was a very early "spring cleaning" by WWE... as of this writing, they've released about a dozen recognizable names as well as a slew of developmental talents.
    While some of the cuts are regrettable in the sense that WWE has released a few guys more talented than some of the worthless chum they keep paying, it's hard to point to any of the cuts and say "this is a bad move that will cost WWE dearly in the future."
    In all sincerity, I think the release of Jazz is probably just about the only one that I see as having an immediate and negative impact on the potential WWE TV product. In lieu of other alternatives, a 3-4 month run for Jazz on RAW as the primary opposition for Mickie James would have gone a long way to masking the myriad deficiencies that exist within the women's division these days. Jazz had actually been on my mind for a couple days, as part of a possible fantasy booking scenario, when this news hit. Oh well....
    A notch below that, the releases of the Basham Brothers probably doesn't change much about the WWE product (there seems to be an institutional mandate to make sure the tag division sucks, and one of the Bashams is still a few months away from being healed up after arm surgery, anyway)... but when the time is right, they'll represent a GREAT pick-up for TNA. With their more established tag teams breaking up (AMW), getting stale (Dudleys), or outright sucking (New Age Outlaws), TNA could use another tag team with some giddy-up. On the plus side: one of the Bashams is the man what's currently boning Gail Kim, so they're connected already. On the downside: one of the Bashams isn't really named "Basham," so they'd have to tweak the names/gimmick so that they aren't twin brothers anymore. I figure the calculus probably still works out in favor of them being a solid signing by TNA, though, especially since they'll still have a few more months until whichever one of them is healthy to sort out the other issues of names/gimmicks.
    Also gone: Tatanka.... Rodney Mack (Jazz's husband).... CW Anderson..... Sylverster Terkay.... Tony Mamaluke... the Gymini (Simon Dean's short-lived musclehead tag team)... Dave "Gangrel" Heath.... and Hugh Morrus (who was the lead trainer for DSW in Atlanta).
    I shan't bother naming off the half-dozen or so developmental workers released on the grounds that most of you have probably never heard of them, and there's good reasons why, now, you never will. If it helps you wrap your heads around it, at least one of them was a Tough Enough loser who had no business getting a contract in the first place.
    At the same time as this round of announcements, WWE also went out of its way to officially declare that Al Snow had been relieved of all active wrestling duties and had signed a new contract that applies only to his work as the lead trainer for OVW.
    There could be 2-3 more releases forthcoming, but I've been told it would be classy of me to adopt an Associated Press style ethic here, and not release the names of the deceased until the proper authorities can notify the next of kin. So if you're a borderline-useless wrestler on the ECW roster, just quit avoiding answering the phone and get it over with already, so that we can add you to the official list, dammit!
  • Coming through the "in" door this week? Get this: it's the guy who played the fake Donald Trump a few weeks ago on RAW. A select few of the more twisted among you might know him as Ace Steele, a mini-sensation on the indie circuit and frequent WWE jobber over the past several years.
    What's surprising about this is that he's actually a pretty smooth and solid (if unspectacular) in-ring performer in his mid- to late-30s, which fits no known profile of potential WWE signings that I know of. The only real "hook" the guy has is that he helped train CM Punk early in Punk's career and has worked with him a lot. We'll see how that whole thing works out.
  • Other notable news since last we spoke: TNA's Final Resolution PPV had a few interesting developments.
    First, from an on-screen-product-perspective, Christian won the NWA Title, pinning Sting in a 3-way match to win the belt. Plus 10 for ending the Abyss Experiment before it could get much dumber. Plus 10 more for choosing wisely with Christian.... the guy's gold in pretty much any scenario, but I'm a huge fan of his reunion with The Lovely Miss Tomko, and think that gives him more than enough zazz to be a legit PPV main event player to even the most casual wrestling/WWE fan who flips past TNA. 
    Which is lots more than I think you could say about Abyss. But enough about that. Christian, back with his old WWE sidekick (whom had just started to, you know, not suck, and to show some chemistry with Christian when they imploded their team) and with Kurt Angle on the horizon as his next title challenger sure works for me.
    But speaking of Angle, he's the other really noteworthy story coming out of the PPV, as he apparently suffered a concussion during his win over Samoa Joe and doesn't fully recall the events of the match. How does this affect Kurt's status going forward? It doesn't. He worked the next night's TV tapings, has no plans on missing any dates, and in fact, in the middle of this week, he finalized plans for a February mini-tour of Japan, where he will face opponents who specialize in dropping people on their neck and kicking them in the head, as per their more physical style.
    Kurt Angle, ladies and gentlemen: Crazy Brave since 2003. But I'm starting to wonder if it isn't more crazy than brave at the end of the day.
    Normally, I'd turn you over to Jason Longshore for the full recap of the TNA PPV, but he had the kind of travel weekend last weekend that gives the airline industry a bad name, and didn't see the show. And my own assessment of last Sunday night's TV action would be this: "Best start to a season of 24 ever. EVAR~!". Which doesn't really shed any light on the matter, now does it?
  • Ratings, while I'm here....
    SD! last week dropped to a 2.5 on Friday night. That's actually pretty close to its average since moving to the CW Network, but a drop off from an anomalously high 2.9 the week before.
    RAW on Monday? Well, it bounded back up to a 4.1, the first time RAW's seen the high side of 4 since mid-August. A win for the "it was just Monday Night Football's fault" people? Perhaps. But how's about comparing RAW to its year-ago performance, when RAW averaged a 4.4 for the month of January? What's your excuse NOW?
    ECW on Tuesday did a 1.5 rating, a nominal gain of 0.1 from the week before. Which is nothing to write home about because the week before was the worst-rated non-holiday edition of the show ever. There continues to be no real reason to watch wrestling on Tuesday nights unless you are a masochist. Or a beloved internet wrestling pundit.
    TNA on Thursday pulled down another 1.1, continuing the show's steady string of performances. To update you on a situation I mentioned last week, Spike TV is considering a TNA special to run on Monday night, February 12, in the slot being vacated by RAW (in favor of USA's airing of the dog show)... nothing is finalized yet, as many think Spike is dragging its feet to find out for sure what WWE and NBC/Universal are gonna do about RAW (pre-empt it to 11pm, to another night, or just show it at its regular time on Sci-Fi) before commiting, but at the very least, you can start thinking about a one-hour taped TNA special airing on that Monday to see how the show will do on wrestling's most-watched night of the week.
  • Former TNA star Monty Brown did debut on ECW this week. He used the name "Marquis Cor Van." Probably because "Montel Voluptuous Porter" (NAMBLA, for short) has the market cornered on derivations of names starting with "Mont," and you know how ever-vigilant WWE is about Name Duplication!
    I wish I were joking. But I'm not.
    He did pretty much the same thing he did in TNA, otherwise. His gimmick was still the "Alpha Male"/hunter dealy, and he still pretty much stunk in the ring. One good thing: he did demote the Pounce to a set-up move. One bad thing: in its place, he used a freaking armbar as his finisher.
    Prospects for success? I'd say no better than they were at any point during his TNA tenure. WWE has done nothing to "fix" Monty or to focus on his strengths while masking his weaknesses. Then again, if he's on ECW, he's on a show where WWE is so utterly clueless that they think Test is the answer to anything. Other than the answer to "How can we get our fans to most-enthusiastically change the channel?".
  • If you're wondering why Bob Holly went from pinning CM Punk for no good reason to invisible this week on ECW, it's because he's dealing with as-yet-mysterious health/injury issues, and is being shelved until that whole thing gets sorted out. To the best of my ability to dig up dirt, this is a genuine health-related issue, and not a "Wellness Related Issue" (if you catch my drift), though I've heard more than one person quip about Bob's low opinion of the wellness program and how it doesn't apply to him, so who knows?
  • The Royal Rumble PPV line-up is looking pretty much finalized. WWE has already announced 26 men for the Rumble match (no surprises, except that there's only about 5 ECW guys, and then slightly more RAW than SD! ones, so they aren't even TRYING to give us brand equality here), and set up three other matches. 
    The RAW Title will be Cena defending against Umaga in a Last Man Standing Match. The SD! Title will be Batista defending against Kennedy. And the ECW Title will be Lashley versus (ugh) Test.
    I know I'm usually a mega-mark for the Rumble PPV, but those three matches don't do a WHOLE lot for me (Cena/Umaga probably stands to be the best of the three), and the Rumble roster is one of the thinnest in recent memory in terms of potential winners.... then again, I might be looking at that through Smark-colored glasses, where a lotof folks are saying only Khali or Taker are really in the running to win the thing.
  • I think that's all the really important stuff that I had to get out of my system today. Anything else can wait till the start of next week (when, at the very least, I'll also be presenting my Best of 2006 Mega Awards column, plus I think we'll have a new feature debuting here at OO, too... if I still think it's funny while sober and in the light of day, that is).
    So till 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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