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!

Jericho Update, Carlito Quitting?, Edge,
Survivor Series Homages, and More 
November 16, 2007

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


As tumultuous an off-season as it's been already for one of my favorite baseball teams (and trust me, I will experience physical pain seeing my one real childhood baseball hero, Don Mattingly, wearing something other than Pinstripes), how good do I feel seeing A-Rod come crawling on back to the Yankees?

Pretty damned good, it turns out. I may not like A-Rod, the mincing ladyboy who shows up at Home Run Derbys to mingle with the regular, jersey-wearing ballplayers while sporting his Bravo Network Finery. But I do like 40 HRs, 120 RBI, and a 1.000+ OPS every year. The perception that Douchebag Supreme Scott Boras was somehow humilated

or marginalized in the process is gravy.

So: now we know where the career home run record will be broken... in a Yankee's uniform. The question that becomes fun to ponder is: Where will Barry Bonds be when it happens? "In Attendance" seems a long shot. But I figure it's about even money between "Sulking at Home" and "Stewing in Jail."

And while baseball's hot-stoving it up, and it appears that nobody wants to participate in the BCS championship game, there's also at least a BIT of wrestling news to cover, what with a PPV this weekend and a couple of Canucks likely to return to TV. Here goes:

  • The months-long SAVE_US teaser campaign is over. Whoever or whatever is coming to SAVE_US is going to be on Monday's RAW (November 19), according to the latest (and likely final) vignette.
    Like I said in my update last week: so much for there really being any depth or substance to the so-called "code" crap. As predicted, they'll just go down as an essentially random few numbers that provided little substantive information. And when WWE was ready to shoot their wad, they just pretty much came right out and put it on the screen with the big ol' "NEXT MONDAY." Ah well...
    Myself, I'm not surprised, but nor am I disappointed. Which I can't say for everybody. Apparently, a goodly number of fans (especially those who helped the OO Forums Official SAVE_US Thread up over 1000 posts and read by over 60,000 people) think it's a cop-out -- or worse, a "Spoiler" -- for WWE to end months of speculation and build up by telling us pretty much what's gonna happen and when. Instead of the pay-off being a surprise, WWE has gotten "lazy" and gone for a ratings grab by telling you when to tune in to see the non-surprise.
    Of course, these are (in many cases) the same exact people who got pissed off at WWE when they DIDN'T pay-off on the SAVE_US campaign on past shows and PPVs, saying the hints CLEARLY indicated this and that and the other, and they ended up spending $40 on a PPV and got nothing to show for it. And now that WWE is pretty much promising you what you want, and WILL pay-off on it, that's bad, too. There's just no pleasing some people, eh?
    And I guess I don't see any value in continuing to act all coy and mysterious: the SAVE_US thing is leading us to one place... the return of Chris Jericho to a WWE ring.
    Don't want to believe me, or still clinging desperately to some kind of swerve ending? Well, you've got at least one big thing working against you: the latest WWE Magazine has already been shipped to subscribers, and features Jericho's return as the cover story. The cover image has been widely circulated on the 'net since Tuesday afternoon, and represents one of WWE's biggest screw-ups in a long time. [There have been more recent ones, but the biggest one I recall, the one that "ruined" the realism of pro wrestling for me when I was a a mere middle school pup, was when I picked up a copy of WWF Magazine one fateful day in March, turned immediately to the feature article on The Lovely Miss Elizabeth, and discovered the Randy Savage was the new WWF Champion. Even though WrestleMania 4 was still weeks away.]
    Jericho, who's been busily wrapping up the final leg of his book promotion duties, has continued either outright denying or elegantly side-stepping the issue of his wrestling comeback. No word on if any particularly dickish fan(s) have dared present Jericho with a copy of his own "Comeback Issue" of WWE Magazine to autograph a week before said comeback actually happens.
    At the end of the day, I'm not too worked up or upset over the "spoilery" aspect of this. I never really got vested in the "code" stuff, and was pretty much waiting anxiously for the End Game, for the night Jericho finally returns. This, for me, is a case where it WASN'T the journey being half the fun: I just wanty the destination.
    And of course, there's another thing to consider, too: no matter how disappointed or "spoiled" you feel knowing that there's a countdown clock pointing to the 2nd Coming taking place right around the middle of Monday's RAW, you STILL don't have any fricking clue how it'll happen, who else will be involved, and what will be said. If you can't milk some joy and excitement out of those (ahem) minor details, then we're just not cut of the same jib.
    We've covered some pretty interesting options here. I already outlined my one Grand Scheme for making sure Jericho's comeback is about something meaningful and doesn't flare out in 3 weeks time. Others have taken the general idea of Jericho coming out and re-cutting his original WWF Debut promo, and gone a different way with it, suggesting that Jericho could lead a faction of talented-but-underrated stars in "taking over" the top spots from the flamboyantly mediocre Randy Ortons of the world. I'm not exactly sure who provides the heel counter-balance in that case (maybe Vince, trying to defend his vision for utterly average stars?), which is why I like my idea (Jericho boastfully claiming he will re-unite the two world titles, and bring us back to the glory days of a single Unified Champion You Could Look Up To). Jericho's character makes the most sense when its out for itself.
    Plus, not to try to rain on anybody's parade, but Jericho being out for himself also protects him from being dragged down by others less over than he. It's the same exact reason why I don't want Jericho's first feud to just be some thrown together thing against Santino Marella; it needs to be grander, bigger, and that's said with all due respect to Santino (who is now just about the most bankably entertaining guy on RAW). Just as I insist that Jericho's front line opponent/rival be somebody with whom he could be slotted as a Main Event, any associates/partners Jericho would have should meet the same criteria. And I know the Internet Wankers disagree, but having Jericho try to "save us" by forming an army out of underrated workers like Shelton Benjamin and London/Kendrick is only gonna drag Jericho down. Not lift those other guys up. You gots to be realistic here. It's not that stuff like that can't come in time, it's just that to get the most out of Jericho, you can't immediately send the message to fans that he's right back to futzing around with mid-carders. Either as opponents or as partners.
    There are plenty of other potential Jericho Antics could see myself enjoying come Monday, too. For instance: I'd probably be disowned from the Scaia family if I didn't make at least ONE off-hand joke about seeing Jericho show up and saunter down the aisle while munching on a bag of peanuts, before deadpanning, "So I guess a bunch of you assclowns succeeded in bringing Jericho back. And thanks to you, the only thing we've got in catering is peanuts out the ying-yang." What? Too esoteric? Too six months ago?
    OK, then another idea I really like is to make fans THINK you're swerving them before ultimately serving up the main course. Since Edge is supposed to be returning this weekend, as well, and is also one of the guys I'd absolutely love to see have an extended feud with Jericho, I vote you start by having the SAVE_US Countdown pop up on the Tron. Then everything goes dark. And then (to the dismay and lusty booing of everybody) Edge shows up, and cuts a promo about how we're all stupid dumb marks, and he tricked us, because there's no chance that some washed up wannabe rock star is going to embarrass himself and piss away his legacy by attempting a comeback.
    Then, you can even do the WWE standard sequence of mini-swerves/time-wasters (last good example: the Teddy Long wedding and its surprising list of guest star moments). Stuff that could be clear "set-ups" by Edge to further tease and taunt the crowd (maybe play off internet speculation by bringing out a midget Big Show, or something; or dust off Ralphus; or Gillberg; you get the idea)... but after 10 minutes of the taunting and teasing, the SAVE_US thing pops up again, and this time, Edge is confused. And maybe a bit worried. This time, the "codes" all show up, and the little numbers at the end (the "2 2 2" and "2 2 9" and "8 2 11" and "X 2 9") start flashing and changing randomly (like the computer in "WarGames" trying to figure out the launch codes, except the middle "2" always stays locked in place) until all four lock in: "Y 2 J." The "Y2J" explodes, is replaced simply by the word "JERICHO," then there's some pyro and swanky new music, and FINALLY here is "The Messiah" Chris Jericho out on the stage to save us.
    Maybe kick things off with the same "Jericho is excellence" promo he did 8 years ago. Or maybe just have a witty back and forth with Edge to set the stage for their rivalry. But either way, as far as attempting to "swerve" fans at the last second goes, this would definitely be one way to get 'em on the (no pun intended) Edge of their seats wondering if maybe they guessed wrong on Jericho's return agayn.
    Anyway, just a few ideas, hopefully ones that serve to remind even the most cynical among you that -- despite WWE "spoiling" the surprise for you -- what happens on Monday night when the SAVE_US Clock reaches zero can still be a damned fine entertaining bit of TV.
    For whatever it's worth, I know I'm looking forward to it. On a semi-related note: it'll also be kind of interesting to see what impact this has on ratings. WWE heavily and EXPLICITLY hyped Steve Austin for a week, and he only got them about 0.2 or 0.3 extra ratings points. Now, they are only IMPLYING Jericho's return (and then, only doing so during existing WWE programming, and NOT across the entire NBC/Universal family of networks). On the OO Forums, they've got a pool going and PyroFalkon set the Over/Under at a 3.9 rating; I picked the Under, but would love to be surprised.
  • To get ratings out of the way now as I'm thinking of them: this week's RAW (after the "stunt casting" bump last week) dropped right back down to a 3.5 on Monday. That's still a bit better than where things were for the month of October, but still six-tenths of a point lower than RAW's average for the first two months of 2007. That's no way to please network executives.
    I'm not sure if there's a lesson in this, but: RAW is the only wrestling show that seems prone to these sorts of fluctuations. Other than Mondays, this was just another week and another slate of ratings data for ECW, TNA, and SD! that stayed within the standard two-tenths windows they normally perform within. Nothing much fun to talk about here, so let's move along....
  • WWE attempted to create a controversy this week, claiming that CNN's "Special Investigations Unit" documentary on pro wrestling mis-represented John Cena's answer to the question of his own steroid use.
    In the original airing of the show, it was edited to look like Cena responded to the question by saying something like "That's a tough question to answer because of how society looks at these drugs. Let's just say I can't ever say that I haven't, but you'll never be able to prove that I did." Which not only sounds sketchy, but it was delivered with Cena looking really uncomfortable and squirmy. 
    Turns out, that quote was part of a longer response that started, simply enough with an unequivocal "Absolutely not" to the steroid question. Then, Cena brainfarted and started to ramble along a path that led him to talk about how it doesn't really matter what he says, because as long as there's one wrestler or one football player or whatever who tests positive for PEDs, certain people will never believe an athlete who says he's clean. What he MEANT to say in the quote that CNN used was "I don't see the point of saying that I haven't if you're still gonna believe that I have. What's important is that you'll just be operating under a biased assumption and never be able to prove a thing."
    CNN slightly edited weekend replays of the show to more accurately depict Cena's point, but when WWE got all pissy and self-righteous earlier this week and demanded a public, on-air apology/retraction, CNN basically told them "Screw you, it's not like we manipulated what Cena said. He just brainfarted and said something kinda stupid, and you're lucky we decided to edit the replays now that we sort of understand what he was getting at."
    The irony of the whole mess, of course, is that Cena's intended meaning behind his inelegantly stated "brainfart" cuts right to the heart of why this is such a silly thing for WWE and CNN to get into a pissing contest over. Because Cena's right: this is just one of those tough issues where most people have already made up their minds one way or the other, regardless of evidence, and nothing people say about it is going to convince anyone to change those basic assumptions. A "proper" representation of Cena's point wouldn't have won over any new defenders of Cena or of WWE's policy; and the misstatement by Cena as utilized by CNN didn't cause anybody to leap over to the other side, where Vince and WWE are vilified.
    So while nobody's mind would have been changed one way or the other by the Cena Editing, we still ended up with a situation this week where WWE starts blustering around like a bunch of self-important twits and where CNN can't even bring itself to admit to a simple mistake. Winner: nobody. They all look like jackasses. Bravo, fellas. Bravo.
  • Much was made of a backstage incident following Tuesday's WWE tapings, in which JBL verbally dressed down The Miz and Johnny "Nitro" Morrison in front of a small group of wrestlers, accusing them of lazy ring-work (in a match taped for tonight's SD!) and even worse work on guest commentary (during ECW).
    Per the usual, it sounds like this is a case of a mountain being made out of a molehill by desperate "wrestling journalists." The one surprising and noteworthy element of the story (which involves no fisticuffs and not even any really raised voices, much less some kind of all-out brawl) is that it was Morrison who stood up for himself and told JBL to cram it with walnuts before walking away from the confrontation. Morrison's a guy with enough baggage (Wellness Issues and an attitude flare-up/personality conflict or three) that most folks I talked to were surprised he didn't play it cooler and just take his scolding. [Although it should be noted: on his own, and not in front of the whole lockerroom, it's said Morrison went ahead and did apologize to CM Punk, Matt Hardy, and MVP on the off chance that he really did say/do anything to upstage them.]
    Obviously, I've not yet seen the match in question, but as far as the commentary on Tuesday? Methinks that JBL was just jonsing for SOME kind of way to assert his authority. I mean, what with the media and Congress and all, it's probably been six months since he's gotten to soap rape a guy in the shower to learn him Proper Respect. Cuz there really wasn't anything wrong with the commentary (taken in a one-segment dose, as obviously, it would have gotten stupid and counter-productive if done for an hour straight) that a home viewer would ever notice. Chalk it up as another one of those cases where certain people in the wrestling fraternity insist on making their jobs seem more complex and nuanced and difficult than they really are, in order to keep others confused/unconfident/in-their-place.
    What's kind of disappointing is that if there ever WERE a need for somebody to get a talking-to about how to be a kick-ass heel commentator, JBL's the guy who should run that class. He's turned into the master of that particular art. But as long he comports himself with more of that "frat house president/keep 'em in their place" mentality, his Helpful Advice will never be taken as universally and gratefully as advice offered by other, more mature "locker room general" types.
  • Funny that I'd digress into a rant about the counter-productivity of "mystifying" the skills necessary to be successful in wrestling and of getting all snippy for no reason because it's a good way to "keep a guy in his place"....
    Or perhaps, it was just me laying the groundwork for A Rick Caliber Super Segue!
    Yep, it was the latter. Because guess who might not be around a whole lot longer? Carlito. 
    As you'll recall, Carlito has been less than pleased with his treatment for most of the year, and his last flare-up with WWE management motivated me to write the Highly Inspirational "Insubordination is Cool" column. The gist of it was that Carlito's natural, effortless capacity to perform was intimidating to those in WWE who have to try REALLY hard just to perform adequately. WWE being a culture that embraces and celebrates mediocrity, that meant that they were also inventing reasons to make Carlito feel like he was doing something wrong and he WASN'T as good as he thinks he is. But honestly, if you don't remember it or didn't see it the first time, just go back and read the whole thing. It's worth it, trust me.
    And given Carlito's current tenuous status as a WWE employee, it's also timely as all hell. It even includes the eerily prophetic line: "No matter what personality clashes exist, Carlito's still scary-good at what he does, he still has stronger fan reactions than the vast majority of the WWE roster, and firing him would be gift-wrapping another top star for TNA. Carlito's probably still got his job for those reasons; afterall, WWE can always try sticking him on Heat for 3 months, and see if he still gets fan reactions after that! And if not, THEN they can fire Attitude Boy and feel a little bit better about it."
    Granted, Carlito did have a brief resurgence when he was called to fill in after the Great Wellness Issue Suspendathon sent 11 guys home for vacations, but other than that? He's been out of sight, and out of mind (for most fans). Working a lot of underneath programs, not even showing up on RAW many weeks, and yep: relegated to Heat duty. Whether it's willful or not, the end result is that Carlito'll be damaged goods by the time he ends up working anywhere else.
    Which could be sooner rather than later. Some say Carlito has even already asked for his release; but as referenced in the above quote (and further discussed in the full article from April), there are some in WWE who realize Carlito's true value and don't want him to leave. Depending on how things shake out, there might be ways for Carlito to once again rise up from being nearly-released....
    However, in an ominous development, earlier this week, all Carlito merchandise was moved to the Clearance Section of WWE's website. D'oh.
    If the worst happens, I can't imagine TNA wouldn't jump at the chance to hire Carlito. He's young, talented, versatile, popular. And much like the recently-arrived Booker T, he can keep his same name. Because it's, you know?, his real name. Well, assuming you're not talking about the long-forgotten "Caribbean Cool" parts.... but WWE couldn't do a damned thing about "Carlito Colon."
    We'll see how it goes. I can't imagine the drama stretching out much longer than one more set of TV tapings before we get closure on whether Carlito is gonna be in or out....
  • And lastly, this weekend *is* WWE's Survivor Series pay-per-view. If it's not already apparent from the way I structured the column, yes, I admit I'm more looking forward to Monday than I am to Sunday's PPV...
    It's not that the PPV line-up is without bright spots (Taker and Batista have meshed amazingly well together in their series of matches, and stand to only improve upon past tremendous results inside the Hell in the Cell with Batista's World Title on the line; if that's not the Match of the Night, I'll be stunned, and it might even make it to being a late Match of the Year candidate).... but we're still talking about a three hour show, and we're still talking about WWE scraping the bottom of the creative barrel to come up with such gems as Khali vs. a midget and putting Bob F. Holly and Cody Rhodes into a PPV match. Yikes.
    Plus, the other title match, the WWE Title match, doesn't do much for me: tis the magic of Randall Orton. Tis also the magic of not really feeling that it's likely Shawn Michaels can possibly win. For one, he's still basically "filling in" for what were originally designed to be John Cena's bookings. For two, his knees are never gonna be 100% and it's widely known that Michaels will no longer be working many house shows or overseas tours (which makes it tough to put the title on him).
    One thing (the ONLY thing, really) that might spice up the HBK/Orton match would be if WWE decided it'd be fun to pay homage to the 10th Anniversary of the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series '97. They're certainly not above doing so, and the way things are aligned makes it even easier. I mean, just as 10 years ago, Michaels is the challenger in a world title match. And 10 years ago, Vince McMahon kind of shoe-horned himself into the title match/feud at the last second, just as he has done this year. And 10 years ago, Michaels "won" the title with a SharpShooter, while this year, he is forbidden from using his standard superkick and has teased using an unnamed Submission Move.
    Of course, the ideal situation for Perfect Irony would be if somebody Hart-related ran-in and used Shawn's Superkick against him while Vince looked on and allowed it to happen. However, the entire old guard Hart Foundation are either dead or delusionally bitter, and the proposed new Hart Foundation are all either fired, suspended, or are a girl. So I don't see that happening.
    I guess a compromise would be using Any Random Canadian to cost Shawn the title. Problems are, the two best options are the returning Edge and the returning Jericho. And Edge needs to keep himself limited to SmackDown! issues, while Jericho's value is in being welcomed as a babyface on RAW (not in doing something randomly heelish and unannounced at the PPV). So again.... we'd be looking at other ways to recognize the ol' screwgie. Of which there are plenty. Doubly so if you at least CONSIDER the possibility of a Michaels win and use of the "Title changes hands on a DQ" clause. Which are things I would be considering if I were in charge, but like I said: "WWE Think" suggests otherwise, and plus "WWE Think" and "Good Ideas" rarely intersect, anyway....
    The only other really interesting match is the Traditional Five On Five Match. Thing is, just like last year, the teams seem a little lop-sided with the babyfaces almost certain to win (anything from a HHH Sole Survivor scenario to a second straight 5-0 "shut out" are possible, too). The heel side just doesn't have any real "survival" credibility outside of Umaga. Nothing against the solid niche performers like Kennedy, Finlay, and MVP (and their respective interwoven stories with the Hardys and Rey on the other side), but I have a tough time seeing fans buy them overcoming the stacked babyface team. I mean, Team HHH has 3 former World champs plus the universally beloved Hardys; Team Umaga has zero world title reigns among it, a couple of secondary title reigns, and also has the small matter of including the black hole of entertainment, Viscera.
    Then there's the aforementioned Khali/Hornswoggle match which.... I dunno, I guess it could be fun, but it's one of those "sports entertainment segments" where I lean the other way and (knowing what I know about WWE's track record) assume it'll be a trainwreck. Also the aforementioned Holly/Rhodes vs. Cade/Murdoch tag match, which will be an even bigger Vortex of Apathy than Viscera. In the apathy vein, the ECW Title match du jour will pit CM Punk against both Miz and John Morrison, and which could be good, but could also die with a disinterested live crowd (especially since the inevitable finish will be the self-involved Douche Duo imploding, allowing Punk to win).
    The only other match I'm remembering right now is a 5-on-5 women's match; depending on how the eliminations go, that could get OK towards the end, but so long as you're counting on Kelly Kelly or Torrie Wilson or whoever else their dragging out to participate, it'll be sloppy in at least some spots.
    Seven matches. Edge's return is possible. So is some homage to 10 years ago. You decide what you want to do on Sunday night, and you can be damned sure we'll have the results here at OO sometime before I go to bed.
    But like I said above: just between you and me and the other 30,000 people out there, WWE's fixed it so I'm really more interested in MONDAY night than in Sunday's PPV. Oh well: beats being interested in neither of them, right?
  • That's all folks... enjoy the weekend, and I'll see you again soon.

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.