Powered by LiquidWeb Search all of OO for news, columnists, and articles about your favorites!
News  -/-  Recaps  -/-  Columns  -/-  Features  -/-  Reference  -/-  Archives  -/-  Interact  -/-  Site Info

Donate to Online Onslaught!
     Daily Onslaught
     Obtuse Angle
     RAW Satire
     The Broad

     Inside the Ropes
     OOld Tyme
         Rasslin' Revue
     Title Wave
Crashing the

     Smarky Awards
     Big in Japan
     Guest Columnists
     2 Out of 3 Falls
     Devil's Due
     The Ring
     The Little Things
SK Rants
The Mac Files
     Sq'd Circle Jerk
     RAW vs. SD!:
         Brand Battle
     Cheap Heat 
     Year in Review
     Monday Wars
     Road to WM 

     Title Histories
     Real Names
     PPV Results
     Smart Glossary
     Message Boards
     Live Chat 
     OO History

If you attend a live show, or have any other news for us, just send an e-mail to this address!  We'd also love to hear from you if you've got suggestions or complaints about the site...  let us have it!

Moolah Memories, Jericho's "No Shows,"
Wellness Issues, Firings, Booker/TNA, MORE! 
November 8, 2007

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


I'd just like to (once again) publicly praise "South Park."

The praise is partly just in-general, because I am constantly amazed at how the show is still pee-your-pants funny after 10 years. In fact, it's arguably funnier now than it's ever been. Compare that to the Gold Standard of cartoons, "The Simpson" (which was finally starting to show noticeable signs of decline by its 10th season). Granted, "South Park" has the

benefit of only doing about 12 episodes per year, but still...

And the praise is also partly very specific, as last night's "Guitar Hero" episode saved me the trouble of doing a whole big-ass preRamble about said videogame. A preRamble that started percolating two Sundays ago when I saw a Best Buy circular in the newspaper, advertising some super-special Guitar Hero package deal for "only" $109.99 (more than the cost of a decent REAL guitar at any respectable pawn shop). This had the effect of placing a grain of sand in my Writer's Vagina. A grain of sand that I felt was sure to be refined into a pearl of masterful vitriol about the essential stupidity of Guitar Hero.

Now, I needn't bother. "South Park" did the work for me. And to be honest, their pearl of a punchline to the episode is way prettier than mine ever could have been. Kudos to you, "South Park" guys. 

Here's some wrestling news:

  • We gotta start things off with another wrestling death. And while it's certainly a sad development, it's one that lacks any of the tabloidy tragedy that we've grown accustomed to here in 2007.
    The Fabulous Moolah (Lillian Ellison) passed away last weekend at her South Carolina home. She was 84 years old.
    It would be impossible for me to do a comprehensive and accurate tribute to Moolah, as her career spanned over 50 years in the business. And to be perfectly honest, once I started watching wrestling in the 80s, I remember very few instances of Moolah competing in the ring. Like many of you, my main memories of Moolah come from the past 8 years, as Moolah and her friend Mae Young became periodic guest stars on WWE programming in skits that were sometimes less tasteful and respectful than others.
    Still, those more recent appearances aren't the meat and potatoes of what Moolah meant to wrestling, and that SHOULD be plain to see, even to us latter day fans. Simply listening to what some of today's women of wrestling say about Moolah is enough to help understand how important Moolah was. Trish Stratus, Ivory, and Victoria have all gone out of their way to make sure fans know that there wouldn't be women taken seriously for their in-ring work if not for Moolah. And Moolah herself would often say that her trials and tribulations outside the ring were even more important to paving the way for women to be part of the show: while never forgetting what it meant to be a lady, Moolah says her work ethic and toughness to stand up for herself were the keys to winning over other wrestlers and promoters.
    Thinking back on much of what I've read and seen about Moolah, it strikes me that it's mostly just a shame that she was never really a full-time traveling part of the roster the last few years. With certain bag-pooping, drink-spilling douchebags setting Treatment of Women in Wrestling back decades, it sure would have been fun to hear tales of Moolah verbally lambasting (or perhaps slapping around) your worst offenders.
    Though Moolah (and Mae) had continued to make regular cameos on WWE TV about 3-4 times per year (the last coming at SummerSlam in August), they had thankfully been given a lot more free passes in recent years. Some of the most cringe-worthy bumps in the past decade have involved Moolah and/or Mae being thrown around by younger, able-bodied women. And in a few cases: by very large, able-bodied men. I believe the last time WWE asked Moolah and Mae to get physical was about 4 years ago, when they were on TV for a few weeks to promote Moolah's book. In addition to Moolah pinning Victoria, the pair were also booked into a "Schoolgirl" tag match against Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie.
    Of course, none of that compares to Moolah's near 30-year reign of being widely recognized as the Women's World Champion. Granted, to this day, I'm not entirely clear on what title Moolah initially won to start said reign, but what is obvious is that Moolah was always presented as the top female in any territory she visited. And when her career took her to the WWF of the early-80s, they recognized whatever title she was wearing, and honored her decades-long reign of terror. Moolah finally did lose the title in the "Rock 'n' Wrestling" build-up to the first WrestleMania, but regained it twice more, both under unique circumstances. In 1986, Wendi Richter ran afoul of WWF officials by acting too big for her britches who refused to drop the Women's Title; so the WWF booked her against an unknown masked wrestler, who turned out to be Moolah, and who (even at age 63) was able to "shoot" on Richter to score the unscheduled pinfall. And in 1999, Ivory gladly "did the honors" for Moolah, dropping the strap and giving Moolah one final, feel-good title reign (albeit one that only lasted a week).
    Moolah's five-plus decades in the business were remarkable and trailblazing. Coverage of her passing has certainly reflected that. I've had readers mail in with reports of respectful and fond eulogies made on countless sports radio shows, and even on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption. Even as WWE seems to get further and further away from the type of female performer that would have idolized Moolah (and closer and closer to the type that has a has a nice modeling portfolio and a willingness to pose for Playboy), it's awesome to see people recognizing and appreciating what Moolah accomplished in her storied career.
    Rest in peace, Lillian Ellison, and our condolences go out to all her family, friends, and fans.
  • I guess the next thing I have to talk about is Chris Jericho. Because it was about 10 days ago that I wrote that he was likely to be returning to TV "within the next 72 hours." D'oh.
    I soothe my guilty conscience by remembering that (unlike countless others) I had not made any similar proclamations in the preceding month of the SAVE_US campaign. If you were going by the wild speculation available elsewhere on the web, you would have read about how Jericho was "totally for sure gonna be at" every WWE event and TV taping starting with No Mercy. Each time Jericho no-showed, those claims would be followed by people BLAMING JERICHO for being absent.
    Well: I blame nobody but myself for the "72 hours" line and its essential wrongness. And on the upside, I purposely did lay in the hints that Jericho would be on RAW, and NOT on the Cyber Sunday PPV, so it's not like any of you should have wasted your $40 on my say-so there. But then, Monday, October 29 (X.29) came and went, and no Jericho. Even though he was right there, in Philly, almost certainly in the arena (same the next day at tapings on Long Island).
    There's a reason why that was the first time I put my balls on the chopping block and mentioned a time table for Jericho's return to TV. In short: everything fit. The claims of earlier comebacks struck me as bullshit, if for no other reason than Jericho has been living the life of a quasi-rock-star and douchey "pop culture commentator" for VH-1 the past 28 months. You don't go from Bravo-Network-looking Toolbox on "Celebrity Duets" to Ready-for-20-minute-wrestling matches just by flipping a switch. There is training to do and preparations to be made. By all accounts, Jericho made the commitment to return to the ring in the second half of September. To expect him actually *in* the ring and looking credible 2 weeks later? Probably a bit silly. No matter how good Jericho is.
    But October 29 would have been about 6 weeks of time to train and prepare. On top of that, Jericho's publicity tour for his autobiography finally synched up with WWE's touring schedule starting on October 29. And most of all, as tantalizing as the SAVE_US bits had been, they were essentially devoid of any real hints or clues (no matter how hard some fans have tried to convince themselves otherwise); but when the last round of vignettes came up and featured the phrases "2nd coming" and "Upon us" with the "X29," even *I* finally relented and decided we were getting useful information. I thought that information pointed to Jericho's 2nd Coming on the 10/29 RAW, and I said so.
    Oh well. Didn't happen then. Didn't happen this week. Probably won't happen next Monday, either. A new round of SAVE_US videos have started, imploring viewers to "break the code" and that "the code is the answer, the answer is the code." My guess? There is no code, and there is no answer, there is only a thorough mind-fucking here. Anybody expecting Jericho to waste valuable time in his Comeback Promo explaining about ciphers and random number generators and Omega Codes is out of their gourds. When the seemingly-useful "Upon Us" and "X29" things didn't pan out, I pretty much decided that "DaJericho Code" will end up being just like "The DaVinci Code." In other words: you'll get taken on a whirlwind ride and be presented with tantalizing hints that (if you actually look closely) aren't really there, and then, just when you're expecting a pay-off.... BAM, somebody will go and forget to write anything resembling an actual satisfying ending to the book.
    On the upside: even if all the SAVE_US and code crap fizzles to an anti-climax like "The DaVinci Code," it still ends with Jericho standing in the middle of a wrestling ring, reading to start authoring a new chapter in his career. And given the sad state of affairs in WWE, that can only be a good thing.
    If you're interested: if I had to guess, I'd say look for Jericho on the 11/19 edition of RAW. The new vignettes heavily featured the number 19 (Stephen King called, he wants his number back!), and there's a new SAVE_US t-shirt that is available for pre-order but which won't be available until.... you guess it: November 19. Plus, it's the RAW after Survivor Series (post-PPV RAWs are always a good place to unleash fresh storylines), and Jericho's book publicity responsibilities wrap up around that time.
    But again: this time, I'm admitting that's just a guess. At this point, for all I know, Jericho and WWE are purposely holding him off TV just to screw with our fragile little minds for as long as we keep obsessing over each new SAVE_US video. With that in mind, you could probably milk this to the Royal Rumble. And Jericho's just enough of an evil genius to try to make it happen. So honestly: I don't know, neither do you, and as I alluded to in my last column, if you're hanging your entire wrestling fandom on the presence of Chris Jericho, you're probably setting yourself up for disappointment, anyway.
    So maybe just watch the shows for what they are (if your stomach can handle it), and then when Jericho does show up, it'll be a happy bonus. Instead of an ironclad certainty based on the fact that some internet wanker told you it was for-sure gonna happen that night.
  • Last column, I wrote that Chris F. Masters suffered an elbow injury. And nary a tear was shed.
    Last Friday, Chris F. Masters was suspended for 60 days for his second drug testing failure. And still nary a tear was shed.
    Now, almost exactly as I write this, WWE has announced that Chris F. Masters has been released by the company. And if that's a twinkle you see in my eye, I assure you, they could only possibly be tears of joy welling up.
    In a lot of ways, Masters is the poster boy for everything that's wrong with WWE's talent development. Like many, he's selected, groomed, and fast-tracked because of the way he looks, and not for possessing even an iota of in-ring talent or personality. Like many, he's selected, groomed, and fast-tracked at too young an age, because WWE is sick and tired of guys getting famous in their 30s and has an Institutional Mandate to get guys on TV younger so they can milk them for 20 years instead of for 10 (regardless of the fact that lack of experience and of maturity will lead to both poor on-screen performance and poor backstage behavior). It's a perfect recipe for failure, and Master's embodiment of this odious dish is finalized by his firing.
    I have a much lengthier rant/editorial that I'll unleash someday about the WWE developmental process' recent failures. But for now, it's enough for me to say that Chris F. Masters perfectly represented the Problem, and naive optimist that I am, I kinda hope that his dismissal is somehow symbolically part of the Solution, and a new philosophy in WWE's Star Making methods. We'll see...
  • Last Friday, Masters had company on the "Suspended" list: Harry "DH" Smith was suspended 30 days for a first steroid offense. It's kind of baffling given the well-publicized drug abuses that led to his father passing away at age 38, so hopefully the WWE's Wellness Program and its sanctions will start to scare Harry straight.
    The duel suspensions of Masters and Smith came on November 2. As you'll recall, a new policy went into effect on November 1, in which WWE will publicly announce all suspensions. So it sure didn't take them long before they started in with the "outings."
  • Continuing in the same vein of Wellness Issues, CNN finally unveiled their one-hour "Special Investigations Unit" documentary on pro wrestling. They started collecting interviews and doing research shortly after the Benoit Family Tragedy in June, and obviously, Benoit's story was the centerpiece of the whole hour.
    But there were also plenty of other angles explored, most leading back to Vince McMahon and WWE's drug policies (past and present). Disappointingly, a lot of the special took on an unnecessary and unbecomingly-self-righteous "witch-hunt-y" tone. Just as disappointingly, when interviewed, Vince McMahon came off as defensive and slimy. I hate that. I hate when supposed "reporters" can't stop themselves from oozing "I am a very responsible and moral human being and if you don't join me in my Quest For Decency there is something wrong with you" from every pore. And I hate it that I have no choice but to be increasingly less-convinced that Vince McMahon has any clue what is going on out here in the real world.
    As the hour reached its end, the two main prongs of the show seemed to be (1) playing the Human Interest Story Card by focusing on Michael Benoit (Chris' dad) and how he has now shifted from grief to anger at the business that turned his son into a monster, and (2) investigating just how legitimate WWE's current drug testing policy is by interviewing the head of the US Olympic Committee's anti-doping efforts (he says WWE's policy is ridden with loopholes) and by interviewing the guy who administers WWE's testing (who thinks it's working fine and says that every positive test he has found has resulted in the promised action being taken by WWE management).
    A note on the testing policy, as I've already gotten a few confused e-mails about why CNN was reporting WWE's policy as "Four strikes and you're out" while we've talked about it being a Three Strikes policy here. It's a matter of semantics, I guess. The deal is that the first test taken by a WWE worker is considered a "baseline." If that test is clean, then great, and you move forward. But if that test reveals any illegal substances within certain reasonably explainable parameters, then only a warning is issued. If that worker comes back for a second test with reduced testosterone levels or whatever, then the improvement is noted, and you only start accumulating "strikes" if your levels go out of whack in subsequent tests. The "warning" only applies to that first baseline testing. From there on out, anything suspicious counts as a "strike" against you, and you only get the three strikes. The baseline "warning" is sort of like an inverted at-bat, where instead of a foul-tip with two strikes not counting against you, the first one may not count against you, depending on the circumstances. 
    It may sound sketchy to you, but with governing bodies in different sports unable to agree upon universal standards, it's probably reasonable that WWE grants some leeway in that baseline testing to account for natural fluctuations and anomalies in body chemistry and metabolism between different workers or for fluctuations that may be due to non-illicit drug or supplement usage. 
    If you're curious to see the special for yourself, I believe it replays on CNN this Saturday at 8pm eastern. I have also been informed that at least a few key parts (John Cena's squirmy non-denial of past steroid usage, and another human interest segment focusing on the plight of Dynamite Kid) are readily available on YouTube.
  • Another WWE firing in the past week: Brooke Adams.
    If you read that and said "Who?!???" then congratulations, you are just like The Rick! Well, providing you were just feigning ignorance, because it's far less embarrassing than admitting you actually know the names of the useless bimbos who make up the ECW Extreme Expose Dance Team.
    Basic reason for the dismissal: Brooke had quite the attitude and did not work and play well with others. Also: Brooke very much liked the idea of being famous, but was not necessarily interested in developing any of the skills to get famous as part of a wrestling show, and thus, was considered expandable and easily replaceable by any number of unqualified Fame Whores who come out in droves for the Diva Search because they think they're pretty enough to deserve to be on TV and to hell with having any other compelling attributes.
    God, the Fabulous Moolah is probalby roll..... eh, nevermind. Too soon, probably, no?
  • Following up on an older story: Hulk Hogan's younger daughter, Nick, has finally been charged criminally as a result of the car wreck that left him briefly hospitalized back in September. And his passenger, John Graziano, REMAINS hospitalized and reportedly on life support.
    The primary charge is a felony Reckless Driving With Serious Bodily Injury, but other charges include Use of a Motor Vehicle in Committing a Felony and a watered-down form of a DUI (Nick did not test over the .08 BAC limit to be "intoxicated," but as a 17-year-old, he only has to test higher than a .02 to be breaking the law; which he did). Nick will be tried as an adult on all charges.
    [Note: if you're dying for closure, at the same time police issued warrants for Nick's arrest, they also issued a court summons for another 22-year-old friend of Nick's, who will be ticketed for Reckless Driving. Turns out, *he* is the one who drove that mysterious Silver Viper that was the source of many Hulkster-related conspiracy theories.]
    As we discussed two months ago, immediately after the incident, the Hogan's retained the services of South Florida's most infamous sleazebag lawyer firm which specializes in getting drunk drivers off the hook. Upon Nick's arrest yesterday, the lawyers and publicists have leapt into action, making Nick, if anything, seem like an even bigger fucking douchebag. Which I honestly didn't think was possible. Seriously: statements in which the Hogan family expresses "regret" at the arrest, and says that their main concern at this point remains the recovery of John Graziano who "tragically was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident." Really? That's how you try to engender sympathy for an entitled little prick? By making it look like he's blaming his shitty driving on a passenger who didn't wear a seatbelt? Un. Be. Lievable.
    I guess if I've already taken joy in Chris Masters' firing, I might as well just admit that I sure as hell hope li'l Nicki does some jail time out of all this. It's pretty obvious he's not going to get any sense of responsibility or maturity parented into him. Maybe he can have it butt-raped into him? Nah, I"m just kidding. I wouldn't really wish that upon anybody. Maybe a shivving. But not a butt-raping.
  • To answer a question that I've gotten a few times in the last week: no, the Writer's Guild Strike shouldn't really affect WWE's creative process.
    Although WWE does retain at least a few card-carrying Hollywood Writer Monkeys with Guild membership, the way WWE classifies itself (often in eight different ways if you ask them eight different times) would make it unlikely that those currently working for WWE are considered members of writing staffs on scripted entertainment. And as you'll be (painfully) aware, if this strike lasts long, things like sports programming, live game shows, and reality TV are NOT under the auspices of the Writer's Guild and their writers are not obligated to strike.
    So: despite Triple H's joke on RAW about "nobody writing this crap, anymore, cuz they're all on strike," you probably won't be seeing any significant changes in WWE's creative philosophy. Which is too bad; a return to the olden days of agents and officials "booking" a show (instead of a phalanx of writers "scripting" it) would have been nice.
  • Actually, to be fair, Monday's RAW did have a bit of that rough-and-tumble spontaneity to it. But that's attributable more to who was featured in the longest segments and the fact that they have the freedom to make it so. There's no point bringing in Steve Austin to rekindle fond memories if you're just gonna give him 4 pages of ham-handed, over-written claptrap to memorize, when he'll get his maximum reaction by gauging the fans and playing off them on the fly.
    I doubt we'll get that sort of vibe again any time soon, as it continues to be the Creative Department's philosophy that every line and every second of the show should be hand-crafted. It's no wonder you always hear about "how hard the writers work" and the "70 hour work weeks" and whatnot.... it's not because it's a hard job, it's because Stephanie and others insist on MAKING IT a hard job. A "script" for a 2-hour show need not be any more than a 10-pages-or-less format sheet, and a lot of the heavy lifting needs to be done by the ACTUAL PERFORMERS if it's gonna click with the audience. Granted, that makes it a lot more sink or swim, but it's always going to come off as more compelling and genuine if guys are acting and reacting in the moment instead of just regurgitating scripted lines that aren't even all that well-written to begin with.
    But you've heard me talk about all that at length before in any number of rants about WWE's mediocrity-coddling ways. Just know that I still hate it, and I still think it's an ass-backwards way of running the company. "We'll waste 70 hours a week over-scripting everything so that an untalented, verbally challenged champion can have words to say and so that any talented charismatic performers won't throw off the curve by being all clever and spontaneous." Ugh.
    By the by: Monday's show, what with the week-long hype for Austin's appearance and all, did a 3.7 rating. There are two ways to look at that number: (1) it's RAW's highest rating in 9 weeks, or (2) it's the first time in 9 weeks that RAW reached its year-to-date average. And by "reached" I mean "matched exactly, and did not exceed." I tend to think the second gives you a bit more perspective. Even as some celebrate RAW's number on Monday, the fact is they are celebrating the fact that a heavily-hyped bit of Stunt Casting only got the show up to the Year To Date Average. An average, mind you, that has been dragged down the last 4 months and stands to end up as the lowest YTD average for RAW since 1997.
    The week before, RAW did a 3.5 rating, which means RAW's monthly average for October 2007 did, in fact, end up at a nice, round 3.2. The worst such average since December 1997.
    That reminds me: guess who was not seen or mentioned even once in the first 1 hour and 55 minutes of RAW on Monday? WWE Champ Randy Orton. And BAM, all of a sudden, Orton's 3.2 average rating as champ shoots up to a 3.7! Coincidence? I think not! 
  • Other ratings: ECW had a relatively big bump up to a 1.6 a week ago. But this week, on Tuesday, the show was right back to a 1.2, and in mortal danger of eventually being knocked down to the #4 rated wrestling brand.
    TNA Impact has done two consecutive 1.0 ratings since last we spoke. Not setting the world on fire, but that's essentially in line with their YTD average, which is just fine considering the heavy ratings competition that exists on Thursday nights, especially in the 9pm hour.
    SD! continues to be SD!... steady between 2.5 and 2.7, which is certainly a bit off the desired pace, but (especially when considering the strong young male demo) is more than satisfactory to The CW for a Friday night.
  • Moving on to ratings, but for pay-per-view events. Or, as they are known in the biz: The Buyrates.
    WWE issued another fiscal quarter's worth of financial information, and per usual, updated us on PPV buys for July, August, and September. The good news: PPV buys were down by a smaller percentage versus 2006 than in the previous quarter. The bad news: PPV guys were still down, so who really cares?
    The Great American Bash and SummerSlam both essentially matched their 2006 buyrates in 2007. However, September's Unforgiven did about 90,000 fewer buys than it did in 2006. So, the total "same PPV buys" for these three shows was 1,080,000 in 2006 and only 976,000 in 2007. That's a decrease of about 10% (which is better than the 20% drop off for PPVs in the previous quarter). And remember: all this is happening with WWE running "joint-brand" PPVs in 2007, where as they were mostly single-brand events in 2006.
    The rest of the WWE financials were about what you'd expect: a stagnant core business being made up for by revenues from ancillary streams (including the first profits ever turned by the WWE Films division, due mostly to the DVD success of "The Marine"). The "Live and Televised Events" segment (the core business) actually *did* post a substantial $4-plus million increase in revenues versus 2006; the problem with that is that if you look at the breakdowns, the entirety of that increase is explained by a surplus of (highly profitable) overseas tours in 2007. The domestic house show business and revenues from TV shows and PPV were actually level or slightly down. 
    It should also be noted that WWE registered a big gain of about $800,000 for the 24/7 Video-on-Demand service, which they credited to "Live and Televised Events." I'm sure that categorization is defendable, but to me, when I look at these numbers, *I* would mentally file 24/7 under the Home Video division, because it has nothing to do with the Core Product or current stars/storylines, and EVERYthing to do with WWE effectively milking money out of their video library. You know: from back when wrestling was good, and people liked it a lot more than they do today.

  • Some programming notes as we get to the sometimes-dodgy holiday season...
    Look for a 3-hour RAW on December 10, as WWE is going to do a big anniversary show (yep, it's already been 15 years since RAW debuted, kids).
    Expect the annual "Tribute to the Troops" Christmas special on Christmas Eve (Monday, 12/24), with SD! probably being a year-in-review show that week.
    ECW will be pre-empted at least twice (on Christmas night and New Year's Day), and it's already slipped my mind, but it might be moved to Thursday night one of those weeks (not Christmas week, as I don't believe WWE has any tapings planned for that week), which would mean it would compete head-to-head with TNA. Now *that* could be interesting....
  • If you're just DYING to find a way that the writers' strike will have an impact on wrestling fans, here's one that's a bit of a stretch:
    The Rock was scheduled to host Saturday Night Live this coming weekend. Obviously, that is not happening, and it's far to early to even begin speculating on when the writers will be back, how long it will be before SNL resumes production, and whether or not The Rock's booking will be rescheduled for a later date.
    No great loss: The Rock's various SNL and talk show appearances have definitely become a case of rapidly diminishing returns. And it's got nothing to do with me being latently salty about him "selling out" and leaving wrestling. It's just got to do with the simple fact that as he purposely morphs into a watered-down, non-threatening nancyboy in an attempt to appeal to the maximum number of people (kids, mothers, families, etc.), his original appeal (primarily to dudes) evaporates very quickly. Flashing a bogus Hollywood smile and always having a witty retort scripted for your all-too-predictable interviewers may work for impressing the undersexed housewives out there... but if it comes at the expense of the Rock who used to spontaneously go off on random 7-minute tangents about Conan O'Brien's dubious sexuality due to the latter's fondness for Appletinis, then you can count me out. Even in his last days in WWE, fake/over-produced/trying-too-hard Rock always annoyed the piss out of me (and others, at witnessed by fans forcibly turning him heel in 2 of his last three brief runs); easy-going, seat-of-the-pants Rock is, and always was, where it's at.
    Just one man's opinion, anyway....
  • Chavo Guerrero worked a dark match at TV tapings this week, so his return to SD! is no doubt imminent. With the Cruiserweight Title vacant and with his Aunt Vickie as the General Manager, I'd kind of assume you have a built-in nepotism storyline right there (one that I'd love to see involve Jamie Noble, who certain seems to be Vickie's personal whipping boy lately)....
    [Note to concerned readers: I know that WWE.com has removed the Cruiserweight Title box from the SD! Superstars page. This does not mean that title is gone. It just means it's vacant and they don't want an empty box taking up space. I've been assured that they've done the exact same thing when any other titles have been vacant, included the World Title.]
    Also to be seen on SD! sooner rather than later: Ric Flair, who has mentioned in several recent personal appearances that things are all set for him returning to TV. Throw in Edge's scheduled return at Survivor Series, and things could be looking up on Friday nights for the first time in quite a while.
  • Last thing for today could be a pretty big thing... TNA's Genesis PPV is this weekend, and with only three-quarters of a main event announced, TNA is banking on heavy interest in Sting's Mystery Partner.
    And much as with the Chris Jericho situation with WWE, most fans think they've got it all figured out and fully expect to see Booker T make his TNA debut this weekend, joining Sting to face off against TNA Champ Kurt Angle and the returning-to-action Kevin Nash.
    In this case, there are certainly strong indicators that this is, in fact, TNA's plan. In fact, the only other workable solution that they have would be to insert Jeff Jarrett into the main event. Jarrett has been mostly-absent from TV for the better part of the year, as he dealt with his wife's battle with cancer. Since Jill Jarrett passed away this summer, Jeff has been focusing his energies on behind-the-scenes and business-related matters, but it's taken as read that he intends to return, and in a babyface capacity, eventually.
    Per TNA's usual, the PPV card is quite "top heavy" in that a lot of energy has gone into setting up the main event, but that the underneath stories/matches are the results of significantly iffier creative work.
    The Angle/Nash vs. Sting/???? is actually a perfect entry point for somebody like Booker T (who has done his best work in years lately in WWE). The Angle/Nash tandem is an Odd Couple story, with Nash being the sympathetic Hired Muscle who was eventually taken for granted by Angle. If a split between them is inevitable, then it stands to reason that whoever shows up as Sting's partner could easily end up being the 98,833rd different guy to turn on that naive, overly trustworthy rube. Booker's perfect (and to be honest, if he's bringing Sharmell with him, how deliciously insufferable would a unit of Kurt and Karen Angle and Booker and Sharmell T be? I think we can all agree that just pretending Kurt's whole beastiality/wanting-to-rape-Booker's-wife phase never happened, right? or perhaps Booker has relaxed some and the two could be totally into some wife-swapping?).
    Then again, as much as I loathe the idea of Jeff Jarrett being a babyface, he'd work in that slot, too.
    Underneath, you'll have the pay-off on a #1 Contender's tournament that has been a bit of a debacle because Rikishi (known as "Junior Fatu" in TNA) got his ample ass fired right in the middle of it (for essentially having too high an opinion of himself in relation to TNA's home-grown jabronis), requiring some shuffling. Still, I'm assuming they'll figure out some way to get Christian over in the end, as that's the only conceivable outcome I can come up with.
    There's also the on-going saga of the Dudleys trying to "kill" the X Division for reasons that have not yet been adequately explained, but which pretty much amount to "Because TNA's fans are a bunch of smark wankers who worship the X Division, and Bubba can get even more crazy heat than usual by bad-mouthing a wanker-favorite." So it's scheduled to be the Duds vs. the Motor City Machine Guns, but I'm sure there will be plenty of unscheduled run-ins by other X Division guys to turn this into a nice table-laden schmozz.
    Samoa Joe will face Robert Roode, because somebody in TNA sees something in Roode that (so far) I haven't, and is under the misapprehension that they can shove him into a semi-main event slot and have fans buy it. Tards. What can I say: I look at Roode, and the only thing *I* see is Traci Brooks.
    Throw in your standard Abyss gimmicky brawl (against Not Goldust But As Close As Legally Permissible), a women's title defense to establish Gail Kim before she's ultimately squashed by Awesome Kong, and some sort of crowd-pleasing unannounced X Division Group Match, and you've got a PPV card. But like I said: the drama lays mostly at the top of the line-up. For me, anyway.
  • That's it for me. Remember to keep on coming back for coverage/results of all TV shows and events, and I'm sure I'll be checking in with something within the next week prior to Survivor Series. See you then...

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.




All contents are Copyright 1995-2014 by OOWrestling.com.  All rights reserved.
This website is not affiliated with WWE or any other professional wrestling organization.  Privacy Statement.