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Breaking Point Preview, Guest Hosts and Ratings, Trish Sweet Trish, Lots More!
September 11, 2009

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com


So, uhhhh.... Happy 9/11, everybody?
Yeah, I know you're probably not doing much to celebrate THIS year, but it dawned on me: I'm starting to get real uncomfortable about what's gonna happen in 2 years, now. It's close. It's damned close. And a lot of people are gonna make asses of themselves, is my guess.
For whatever it's worth, I think we should just stick to The Onion's adivce: let's all honor this solemn anniversary by simply not not masturbating, OK?

Except: nah. The RickMan's past year hasn't exactly gone according to plan. So I think I'm feeling a Smoove B evening coming on. You know: just like this one, unless something better pops up at the last second. EXACTLY like that one, actually. Except for the part about the asparagus.
There will be no asparagus.
That may make me one unpatriotic sumbitch, but I do gots some rasslin' news for you today. So quit judging me, and enjoy:

  • Might as well get this one out of the way, first:
    WWE's Breaking Point PPV (the first in a flurry of new gimmick-themed autumn/winter PPVs that will debut in the next few months, which now includes Armageddon being renamed to "Tables Ladders and Chairs") is Sunday night, and all the top matches have some sort of submission-related stipulation.
    Sadly, a lot of the top matches are also rehashes of the less-thrilling matches that we saw just three weeks ago at SummerSlam (itself a less-than-thrilling outing for what is allegedly WWE's second-biggest show of the year), so I'm having a hard time working up any genuine interest.

    I mean, the card -- as is -- is just... whew, I dunno. I'm the bestest wordsmith you know, and I just cannot come up with any way to adequately describe what a ham-handed, ill-advised, uncompelling snoozefest it looks like WWE has put together for us. There's one match I MIGHT tolerate for free on a Monday, another I'd probably get pretty excited for for free on a Tuesday, and one that has just the slightest bit of PPV-worthiness to it and could click as something pretty cool and over-three-stars. The rest is just... just... just... ummm... it's just in possession of the highest quantities of "Do Not Care" that you could possibly ever get from a company that's ostensibly NOT actively trying to euthanize its fanbase.
    Here's the card for Sunday:
    Randy Orton vs. John Cena ("I Quit" Match for the WWE Title). Wow. A match that has never really clicked at any point in the 3 years they've been trying it. A match that we just saw 3 weeks ago, and which was one of the most insultingly-booked schmozzes in memory. A match that now has the added "drama" of "I Quit," which I've described as anti-Last-Man-Standing in terms of gravitas. How can this possibly do anything other than bring the show limping home to anticlimax? The usual routines for both these guys reek of adequacy, though Cena does have an extra gear that allows him to bust out some awesome with the right opponents (i.e. "Not Orton")... but you can expect that once they mediocre their way through the opening stages and get to the "good stuff," there will be a ref shoving a mic in their faces, forcing each of them (the top two manliest men in WWE, or so we are to believe) to blubber "No, waaaahhhhh, I don't quit. OUCH," and whatever drama had been built will kinda be undone. A lot will be on the crowd to sell some sizzle: if they care (even if they care in the increasingly common anti-Cena way), these two might pull it off... if they don't, it'll just underscore the raging forgettableness of what we're watching. Given that the story-telling and whatnot leading into this match has been massively uninspired (I mean, to the point where I can't even remember one worthwhile plot point to share with you here), it'd probably be a stretch to assume the crowd even could care about this in anything OTHER than the knee-jerk/wanker/"Cena Sucks" sort of way. We'll see... I just know that at this point, I don't think "Cena Sucks," and I might even give this match one whole extra star if they just finally get the strap off the human fast-forward button that is Randall Orton.
    CM Punk vs. Undertaker (Submission Match for the World Title). For the sake of the only match on this whole damn card that remotely resembles PPV-worthiness, I'm just going to skip any rant about how it made no sense for Taker to randomly start attacking Punk and how Taker has wrestled zero matches since returning and yet is still somehow the #1 Contender to Punk's belt. Nope. Not gonna even touch on that... oh, wait... d'oh. But let's not linger on it, at least... Punk won the title 3 weeks ago and dispatched Jeff Hardy. Standing in Punk's immediate path was an apparently-angry Undertaker. Given that Punk's the best heel in wrestling right now (and possibly in years) and that fans loves them some Undertaker (especially when he's fresh and recently back from a lengthy vacation), you just can't help but dig the pairing and know it'll be over like gangbusters. Throw in the fact that both guys are exceptionally talented at morphing their style to match their opponents, and you even have to like their chances for busting out some awesomeness in a submissiony gimmick match. Taker ruled in a few technical outings against Kurt Angle; Punk has workrate cred out the yin-yang. And both guys even have nasty submissions in their secondary arsenals, so a submission match works for them: this'll come down to Anaconda Vice vs. Dragon Sleeper. And it oughta be pretty good.
    DX (Triple H/Shawn Michaels) vs. Legacy (Ted DiBiase/Cody Rhodes) (Submissions Count Anywhere Match). Oy. What should have just been a goofy fun comeback for Michaels/DX at SummerSlam already stretched the boundaries of shitgivery by turning into a bloated and over-long "Oh my, Legacy totally owned DX for 10 minutes" affair. Now, the feud bleeds over into a SECOND PPV?!? Again: Oy, says I. The "submissions count anywhere" gimmick actually should expand upon our chances for "goofy fun" here in the do-over match; none of these four are in this for a bloody, brutal type brawl, but could certainly make good use of preplanned spots and props to up the interest level. Just as before SummerSlam, Legacy's gotten the better of DX in their limited face-to-face altercations (VERY limited; DX has been more involved with guest hosts the past few weeks, rather than doing anything remotely involved in furthering a feud against Legacy; three matches down our listing, and three matches with no real memorable backstory; yay?). And just as before SummerSlam, I'll repeat that anything other than a crowd-pleasing win for DX would be a really dumb mistake by WWE. Yet: the goofy gimmick makes me at least fear that WWE has some plan in place for Legacy to steal a cheap win (Inverted Montreal Screwjob, with an assist from the also-next-gen Hart Dynasty, anyone?) in order to get themselves over. [Note: it won't work.]
    Chris Jericho/Big Show vs. MVP/Mark Henry (Unified Tag Title Match). So I spent the summer getting amped up for the unified tag titles being a brand-hopping gimmick that might re-spark the division with the creation of interesting teams of top stars desiring to ply their trades on different brands. Lately, we've gotten JeriShow wasting their time with b-level acts, instead of moving forward with something that could be cool (like getting to see all of Jericho, Show, Michaels, and HHH on BOTH RAW and SmackDown if JeriShow vs. DX were the tag title feud). This month, not only did MVP and Henry get tossed randomly together as a team, they were randomly assigned the PPV title shot for no discernable reason; at least last month, Cryme Tyme were, you know?, a real tag team with a track record of some success. Jericho has continued his trend of dropping meaningless singles matches in an attempt to elevate opposition (this time, to MVP), while Show and Henry have had a few surprisingly-not-awful Fat Man Showdowns Of Meaty Tonnage, but it still doesn't add up to anything other than putting these four out there in a PPV match where there really can be only one logical outcome. This should have been blown off for free on RAW; PPVs are the place for matches where you at least kind of wonder about who might win. As long as the unified tag titles are about Brand Hopping, they can only be held/won by guys who make the brand they "hop" to better in the process. MVP and Henry do NOT make SD better. So: bleh.
    Christian vs. William Regal (ECW Title Match). No, the ECW Title doesn't deserve a stipulation match! What are you, crazy? Regal earned his way into the #1 Contender spot, then lost at SummerSlam in 7 seconds (while he was removing his swanky velvet robe, instead of paying attention). So -- with the help of his new sidekicks, Vlad and Zeke: The Bad Motherfuckers -- he re-earned another title shot by pinning Christian in a non-title rematch. This is the result. Thanks to Kozlov and Jackson, Regal actually comes off as having a chance to win, here; and with them as his backup, a chance to reign as a fairly convincing champ (at least, until one of his bigger, younger, badder associates decides to revolt against Lord Regal). These are two guys, admittedly, pretty far down the food chain in overall-WWE; but they are also two who can work a hell of a match, and in a storyline where I honestly do not know who'll win. It may not have a whole lot of sizzle due to ECW's tiny weekly audience, but I'm still hoping for some goodness here. RAW and SD fans should both still quickly recognize Christian and Regal, and respond to what they do, and they should also respond well to the sheer badassness of Vlad and Zeke (who are another duo who would actually make unified-tag-title-brand-hopping worthwhile if they got into that mix).
    Khali vs. Kane (Singapore Kane Match). Do. Not. Care. Neither do you. The only comment I'll put here is one that might actually endear me (for once) to legions of smarks and wankers. Namely: it's an abortion that this match is on the PPV card, and Kofi Kingston and the US Title are not. Unfathomable.
    Up until yesterday, a John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler IC Title match had also been advertised (as Morrison won the title from the now-suspended Rey Mysterio, and Ziggler was previously in line for the title shot). That's been pulled, however. My hope is that somebody realized the logical play here would be to cool the jets with Ziggler, and make his grand, overall story be his "learning" feud against Rey (he almost won the title from Rey once, came even closer the second time, maybe the third time would be the charm?)... in this case, hey, Rey's only gone for 30 days. And when he gets back, the freshest memory any of us will have of him will be the pretty-sweet match he had with Morrison to switch the title. So why not milk things to get to a Morrison/Rey rematch early in October? Have Rey re-win the belt. Have Ziggler (who can get a much-needed credibility-building mini-story in the interim) re-emerge as the student about to surpass the master, and as Rey's own personal IC Title Kryptonite. Then, and only then, if it seems like he's gotten over, do you honestly push Ziggler as an IC Champ option. In that case? No need to put this match on a PPV; instead of this being the final, winning chapter in Ziggler's quest, it would only have been another case of him losing on PPV.
    Or at least: I hope that's what WWE's thinking.
    Still, with only six matches scheduled, maybe we will see some late add-ons. Or at least, some extracurricular shennanigans. Maybe a women's match. Or Miz antics. Or Santino antics. Just no Kofi or US Title. That'd be stupid.
    As always, OO will be your huckleberry on Sunday night. If you kinda care enough to know what happens at the Breaking Point PPV, but don't care enough to -- you know? -- pay for it, you can check back here around 11pm or midnight, right after the show, to get my full write-up, results, and analysis. We also tend to have something resembling real-time, match-by-match results in the forums, too.
    And also as always: if you enjoy this service (or any other service) provided by OO, you're encouraged to show your appreciation by making a donation to our cause (PayPal is our processor, but all credit cards accepted). Why pay $700 per year for WWE PPVs, when you can toss a FRACTION of that our way to keep OO going and fund OUR rasslin' habit (and server/bandwidth costs) so we can tell you what happens? Thanks in advance to you noble few who subsidize this place for the rest of everybody else...
  • Just in case you didn't follow along with us two weeks ago in my newsflash and update, Rey Mysterio has been suspended by WWE for failing a drug test. As his "first strike," this will cost Rey 30 days (and, by some estimates, up to $100,000 in lost salary due to likely missing not one, but two PPV pay-outs). His suspension began on Wednesday, September 2. I believe that makes him eligible to come back two days prior to the next WWE PPV, but AFTER that week's SD tapings, so it gets into a sticky mess of how far WWE would be willing to bend over backwards to "Orton Clause" Rey onto that PPV.
    And Rey is not helping his case, apparently. He angered WWE officials (OK, mostly Vince; most "WWE officials" aren't batshit insane and woefully insecure, but we all know how Vince rolls) by doing an interview in Mexico proclaiming his innocence and saying the suspension was unjust. His story is that he had a totally legit prescription for the performance enhancing substance (which aids healing in his wonky knee), and under the policy, he has three days to supply WWE with the prescription, but they suspended him less than 24 hours after informing him of the failed test. He also said this had to do with him being on vacation and missing calls and stuff, even though his "vacation" ended at the SummerSlam PPV, and his suspension wasn't announced until that Thursday, which means there were not three, but FOUR days where Rey and WWE were in just-fine communication.
    Perhaps Rey thought that by conducting the interview in Spanish, his sketchy timeline and rationalizations wouldn't seep back to the States. Or be heard by Vince. But they have. And he hasn't made himself any friends, which is why I'm not sure we'll be seeing WWE moving too fast to accomodate Rey's immediate insertion into a PPV upon his return.
  • WWE and USA Network recently made a big to-do about announcing "RAW's best ratings summer since 2001." They had all kinds of numbers and charts and graphs and demographic breakdowns and everything.
    What they didn't have is the admission that if you discount the one hugely anomalous 4.5 gimmick rating that RAW scored for the no-commercials episode, then RAW's 12 week June-through-August came in below its year-to-date average and would only be RAW's 5th-best summer since 2001. If you count the SpikeTV years. It'd be RAW's 2nd-worst summer on USA since 2001, if you want to reverse the hyperbole.
    WWE: not letting the truth get in the way of a good story since 1999! Tell you what, boys: the day you can run RAW commercial-free every week is the week you can send out that press release and have it mean something, OK?
    For whatever it's worth, despite the Labor Day holiday, this Monday's RAW (with Bob Barker) bounced back up to a 3.8 rating. That's just about the YTD average. It's also up from the 3.6 scored for the previous week's Dusty Rhodes episode. However, it should be noted that despite the modest bump back up on Monday, RAW actually lost viewers in the second hour versus the first hour. So, uhhh, may I propose that Bob Barker equals ratings, and the second he gave us his little bye-bye and fans were left with "Holy Shit, Chris F. Masters is in our main event?!?!!" they just decided to tune out?
    Yes, I may propose that. And I just did.
  • I can tell you, in advance, that I don't really care what the rating is for this coming Monday's show. Why? Because, I'll be too busy enjoying the all-too-rare appearance by our Guest Host, Trish Stratus. Which I've only been hinting at and nudging towards since two months ago; it's almost like I looked ahead, saw "RAW in Toronto" and had a premonition, or something. Or maybe I just had something pop onto my Wish List, and for once, WWE granted it.
    Ah, Trish. Sweet sweet Trish. A reminder of the heady days when wrestling was consistantly good. Every week. And the performers on the screen were invariably -- you know? -- skilled at their jobs.
    Also: there was the Ass Cleavage. I haven't forgotten you, Ass Cleavage. I have missed you the most of all.
    We can rest assured that Trish will be bringing copious amounts of Hot to RAW, which she will accessorize with her traditional intelligence, charisma, and Actual Ability To Speak English, which differentiates her from about 60% of the current-day Mediocre and Monosyllabic WWE Roster. More up in the air: will she bring her rasslin' boots? Weenisses like Seth Green and Entourage Boy used guest hosting as an excuse to grapple; even Bob Barker beat up Chavo Guerrero. And Trish's last special cameo appearance WAS in a mixed tag match last Christmas, so....
    Who knows? WWE's torched their own women's division in the 3 years since Trish left, and it's not like there's a whole lot (especially on the barren heel side) Trish could do in a match, other than maybe something with Beth Phoenix. [OK: fantasy booking time. No heels? Limited talent/ability among the New Generation of WWE Divas? Trish starts the night palling around with fellow-Torontonian -- and genuinely skilled -- Gail Kim. Maybe they agree to a tag match. Maybe not. But either way, somehow Gail Kim turns heel on hometown Trish. Instant heat. Instant hook for Gail. Instant fresh challenger for Mickie James. I'd dig it. My Trish Sympathy Gene would, of course, HATE it. But I know how to deal with that overly-sensitive pussbag.]
    Anyway, it's not like I'm really putting all my eggs in the "Trish must wrestle" basket. It's just that she COULD (and reasonably well, no matter how rusty), if need be, so the option is there. I'll be happy if she just rules the land with mighty authority and remembers to wear her Spectacles Of Legitimacy And Power. Also: she should probably do something to make Chris Jericho's life a living hell. We all know those two kids are still secretly crazy for each other. They just express it by pretending to loathe each other with a deep and burning hatred. Just like Seinfeld and Newman. Except not at all.
    As much as I couldn't give a rat's ass about Breaking Point, I admit to genuine interest in Monday's RAW. I hope I'm not disappointed. I don't think I will be; so far, they've actually done a decent job playing to Guest Host Strengths, and not forcing shitty material upon them. The guest hosts who've been shitty, it's because, well, THEY are kind of shitty, and no material was gonna save them. Trish is grade-A all the way (not in terms of star power, but just in terms of ability to excel within this genre), so I'm confident this trend will continue.
    And yes, that little exchange at the end of Pyro's last RAW Recap is accurate. I may -- just maybe -- dust off my own Recappening Boots to commemorate this momentous event. Truthfully, the decision has nothing to do with Trish's ability to turn my laptop into a six-inches-above-my-laptop, and the problems that causes with regards to typing... it'll just be a matter of pragmatism and logistics for me, and I won't know for sure how things will fall into place until Sunday night, probably. So you, My Constant Readers, will just have to Tune In And Find Out what happens!
  • Although we'll be getting one dose of Trish, we also know we're losing our Lilian. Lilian Garcia is now officially slated to finish up with WWE with the September 21 edition of RAW. Hey, isn't it cute that she stuck around long enough to see her super bestest BFF, Trish, come back for one night? Perhaps they'll get to hang out backstage, maybe go out after the show, head back to Lilian's hotel room, and share the sweetest and purest l....
    Oh, wait, I shouldn't let my mind wander down that road. Plus: that all turned out to be a Stupid Internet Rumor, anyway. Apparently, in the wrestling world, if you're a girl and you're single and you don't immediately agree to have sex with any and all of your body-waxed metrosexual co-workers, the only explanation is that you're also a lesbian. Good on you, Billy Gunn, you highly-respected and totally non-mysogynistic theoretician!
    Anyway, back to Lilian, who was originally supposed to finish up two weeks ago, but is sticking around because WWE dragged its feet in selecting a replacement. But they finally have. So Lilian is done after two more shows. Hocking: you will get your wish. Eventually.
    The replacement? She's a 21-year-old singer/dancer who spent last season on the Orlando Magic Dance Team. Not surprisingly, she is fairly easy on the eyes based on her myplace page. Whodathunkit? But only time will tell if she brings much else to the table beyond her giant plastic boobies. More than likely, this new girl won't debut straight away, but will do some non-televised trial runs first, and WWE might use a stop gap replacement (another one of the Lesser Divas is now ring-announcing in FCW; and there's always Howard Finkel in a pinch) for a few weeks or months until they are ready for the new chick. Or rather: until the new chick is ready to handle the job. Assuming she can.
  • Since we last spoke two weeks ago, WWE has completed a "raid" of Ring of Honor talent. Top ROH stars Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness have signed WWE deals. McGuinness is good, and actually has all the tools to succeed in a CM Punk kind of way in WWE if they just afford him the chance. Danielson is -- objectively and in the wanker sense -- REALLY good, but is just... well, he's never projected much in the way of personality and his look is very, very non-WWE (he's maybe 2 inches taller than Mysterio, and sorta has a face for radio), so despite his skills, he may require a LOT of good fortune in terms of the right pieces falling into place in order to get a fair shot with WWE and not "succeed" in the Scotty Goldman kind of way.
    Luckily, Danielson IS one of the handful of graduates of the Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy to turn wrestling into a career. If his mentor goes to bat for him? Hey, maybe he DOES stand a chance of getting to wow us on an important stage for once.
    Along with the currently-injured Lo-Ki/Senshi/Whatever-His-New-FCW-Name-Was (another Meltzerite favorite with "pound for pound best in the world" type of wanker cred), this gives WWE a triumverate incredibly able, highly experienced performers who are already absolutely as "TV Ready" as they're ever going to be. They are under-sized according to the WWE "6'2, 240 lbs" Minimum Requirement Rule, but they are good. This is something pretty rare for WWE these days, which has focused on hiring mostly body-builders/actors/models/projects and trying to develop them in house (down in FCW) after the WWF/WCW roster wars ended and there was limited "TV Ready" talent out there that WWE didn't already have a chance to hire. Obviously, we've all seen how this has worked out the past few years. Outside of some nice creations by Paul Heyman back in his OVW days (Kennedy, Santino), the only guys to get to the main roster and stick tend to be these "projects" who also happen to be second- or third-generation, and thus had SOME familiarity with the business before signing a developmental contract.
    I have a very low opinion of what Johnny Ace and WWE have accomplished in terms of new stars and recruiting/development the  past 5 years. But what they've gone and done this past two weeks might be a step towards acknowledging internal shortcomings, finally, and taking advantage of external opportunities. WWE now has a few guys in the pipeline who don't just have "some familiarity with the business." They have succeeded in the business on every stage they've been given the chance to perform upon up till this point.
    I'd love to see that trend continue, and get the WWE roster(s) a shot in the arm from outside the system for once. Succeeding in high school gyms still beat the hell out of treading water in a sanitized WWE developmental territory overseen by a worthless sycophant, and puts these guys WAY ahead of the curve in terms of New Star Potential, if you ask me. ECW seems to be the place guys like this have to start out, but (especially in the case of McGuinness) it by no means has to be where they end up, if you take my meaning.
    It goes without saying that there are many folks wondering what this means for the future of ROH. In truth, the company was actually expecting these two "defections" for months... but they are cancelling shows and flagrantly trying to cut costs and might have other issues popping up soon. And there are probably another small handful of their guys WWE could use (I mean, ones who actually fit the WWE mold to some extent), so if this experiment works and WWE invites itself back for seconds? Yeah: ROH could find itself gutted in terms of talent, and not just in terms of whatever they're dealing with financially.

  • One of TNA's most successful home-grown acts will be taking, at the very least, a brief (forced) siesta. The highly amusing Beautiful People are now broken up, as TNA had no choice but to fire Angelina Love -- like Trish and Gail Kim, also a capable lady wrestler from Toronto -- due to visa problems.
    Namely: Angelina didn't have one. TNA never arranged for it. Everything Love's done in TNA the past two years has been, technically, a crime. When TNA discovered their screw-up, their immediate response was "Whoa, holy crap, that Angelina Love really screwed up. We didn't know a thing. Honest! Look: we'll just fire her, OK? Don't fine us!"
    The way this works in WWE is that the talent answers a few questions over the phone, an office worker fills out all the forms and does all the paperwork, the talent maybe has to affix a signature, and the company takes care of everything. When working -- as Angel Williams -- for WWE's developmental system, that's how she got her first visa. Apparently, TNA doesn't bother to do the same thing, and also doesn't bother to communicate this fact to their foriegn born workers. Or at least: they didn't in this case. Pretty much everybody I've talked to agrees: despite TNA's stance that this is Angelina's fault and they shouldn't be fined, this is really TNA's mess and they screwed the girl over.
    Now, if you've seen bits of this story in other corners of the internets, you've probably also seen the bits where Angelina could be barred from entering the US for 10 years and TNA could be fined bazillions of dollars. Maybe by the "letter of the law," yes, but nah: it ain't gonna come to that. These are reasonable people who can assess intent and actual wrong-doing and who will reach a sensible conclusion that allows Angelina to return to work in significantly less than 10 years. Probably no more than a couple months (that's the lapse that existed when Gail Kim needed to switch over her work visa when moving from TNA to WWE, anyway, and that was said to be an overly-long/convoluted situation for some reason).
    The question is: does Angelina Love/Angel Williams even WANT to return to work for TNA after this ordeal? I dunno, but I do know she's already been invited to be backstage at the Toronto RAW is TRISH on Monday night... and she did used to work for the company. And while they (unfathomably) released her without her ever making it to TV despite her being objectively more talented than two-thirds of the current WWE diva roster, she also went out and became kind of a biggish star on her own, so WWE may be rethinking things.... we'll see. Angel Williams and Maryse as The Beautifuler People about 3-4 months from now (when injuries and immigration law allow), anyone?
    TNA already has two weeks of TV taped with Love and her partner Velvet Sky, as part of a women's tag team tournament (which, ironically, was designed mostly to showcase the always-entertaining Beautiful People), but will be able to address this situation at their next PPV in 10 days.
  • Speaking of TNA Turmoil: Christopher Daniels, another one of TNA's successful relative "home growns," got himself in trouble last week... he was arrested for a DUI last Thursday night/Friday morning.
    Making the situation a bit more fun for us fans: the arrest was the direct result of an "InterPromotional Drink-Off" between Daniels and Hurricane Helms, held at Helms' house. Making it even a bit morer funner: they chronicled the event in real time on Twitter.
    Jesus H. Lapdancing Christ. Twatting to somebody who is IN THE SAME ROOM AS YOU?!? I'd say the two were CLEARLY destroyed and utterly wasted to do something that fucktarded, except: when arrested, Daniels only blew a little over the legal limit. Not twice the limit. Not thrice. And yet: we still have Helms and Daniels both acting like drunken Twits in public. Oy. Fricking lightweight. Or would "cruiserweight" be the more appropriate term, here?
    I think the twitscript of events is still availabe in the OO Forums. It's not exactly a display of wit and charm (then again, it takes a special kind of rare breed to pull that off in 140 letters, so the odds were against them, there), but there is a single guest appearance from Matt Hardy along the way, and at the end, there is kind of a winkwink-nudgenudge acknowledgement that Helms had to post Daniels' bail.
    Daniels performed as scheduled at this week's TNA TV tapings, and was not sanctioned or reprimanded in any way. The feeling among those I've talked to is that he won't be, and CAN'T be, what with the way TNA decided to handle Kurt Angle's various situations (which include a DUI last year, and his arrest last month). Which is to say, they didn't handle them at all. They ignored them. To be fair, they'll now have to ignore Daniels' deal.
    Fair? I guess. A healthy way to run a legitimate business? That's debatable.

  • Tales of Jeff Jarrett's TOTAL demise in TNA may have been exagerrated. Though he remains conspicuously absent from any tapings/PPVs/house shows, as part of his supposed "self-ban" from getting in the way of business as usual (which is to say: avoiding any messiness with Kurt), word is that he has NOT been squeezed out of his ownership interest by current TNA management, and will now be allowed to retain his 25-ish% stake.
    But there had been very serious talks along those lines 3 weeks ago or so, and some sort of "hostile buy-out" was widely speculated upon. TNA decided to cool its jets and let things be.
    Right now, Jarrett is still working on TNA business, mostly on the TV Contract and Overseas Promotion areas. And if/when he does return to TV, it will still be as a Mere Wrestler; he will retain ownership stake, but not any significant backstage clout.

  • Last wee bit o' TNA: that thing about TNA women appearing in Playboy? Scratch it. After plans to forge a new nudity/wrestling partnership, Playboy's management has nixed the entire idea to go in another direction. Huh. Naked ladies is naked ladies, right? And (semi-)famous naked ladies is better than anonymous naked ladies, no? What "other direction" can you go in? Pretending people are really reading the articles?
    Anyway, Traci Brooks is the only TNA woman who already did her photo shoot for the magazine, and it will be distributed by Playboy's "cyberclub" (much as WWE doesn't have "fans" but rather a "universe," Playboy doesn't dabble in a "website" and has a "cyberclub"; christ what I wouldn't give to commit genocide against all marketing department tards) later this month.
    As someone in the OO Forums quipped: at least by cutting out the part where somebody has to scan the pictures in, this'll reduce the time it takes for the pictures to be distributed freely in the intarwebs from 5 nanoseconds down to 3 nanoseconds. Yippee!

  • No compete clauses for both Umaga and Ken Kennedy expired this week, and they're free to wrestle wherever they want.
    Umaga, for the time being, is merely pursuing bookings in Japan. Kennedy's being a lot more coy, and tons of folks thing he'll pop up in TNA. Time will tell.

  • Jeff Hardy has officially signed a deal with Fox's TV production company to develop a reality TV show. This (along with continuing to dabble with his crappy band) is the primary side project Jeff wanted to explore during a hiatus from WWE, and it's telling that within days of being free-and-clear of WWE, he already had this paperwork ready to be signed. For all his fruitcakey, arteesty ways, it appears the boy dun been planning ahead.
    WWE has really been accomodating to Jeff, telling him they'll gladly promote any and all of his outside stuff while he's away. Then again: they were telling him this at the same time they were trying to hammer out a new deal where Jeff would at least stay on part-time (TV tapings and PPVs only), instead of going away entirely. Jeff didn't go for that offer, and is now genuinely free of WWE, contractually.
    Still, the prevailing view is that Jeff has no wrestling aspirations outside of WWE, and when he's ready to resume that part of his life, it'll be in WWE. And it'll probably be no later than early next year.
    Meantime, WWE's decided to rush a Jeff Hardy DVD through production in order to capitalize on his last successful push to main event status. They started producing it and taping interviews and stuff just 2 weeks ago; they want to release it before Thanksgiving (for the holiday season). That ain't planning ahead, but it is working fast.
    [NOTE: this column was completed 4 hours prior to Jeff Hardy's arrest, so this bullet point is now almost completely devoid of useful information. If you haven't read up, OO's full coverage/punditry regarding Jeff's situation is here.]
  • Yes, Big Show and Great Khali had a backstage fight last week at a house show. No, nothing will come of it. And yes, by all accounts, it was every bit the minus-five-star DUD you'd expect out of those two.
  • Addressing another gossipy bit I've gotten emails about: yes, I believe it's true CM Punk is now dating Lita. No, nobody in WWE (not even Matt Hardy, whom Punk is semi-feuding with these past few weeks) gives a shit. Yes, I think it's a good thing that (at least in this case) some sensible heads have prevailed and stopped caring who's fucking who or what two people are doing in their private lives to make themselves happy.
  • And when I'm talking about nonsense like that, you know I'm probably scraping bottom. So I'll call it a day here. Remember, we're back with PPV coverage on Sunday night, so check back for that. Till then: enjoy the weekend, kids.
    Later on....

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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