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War 2.0: Tale of the Tapening, 04/12/10
April 12, 2010

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com


An interesting twist for this week's newest battle in the Monday Night Rasslin' War... tonight, BOTH shows are pre-taped!
Well, they will be by the time the shows air. As of this writing, RAW hasn't happened yet, but since WWE is touring Europe this week, the UK taping of "tonight's" show will actually conclude by roughly 5pm (eastern time). And, of course, tonight's Impact was taped last Tuesday, per TNA's custom.


Predictions and discussions for both shows are already on-going in the OO Forums, if you'd like to jump in on that. It's all Spoiler-free in the main News Folder. But then, there is also our new Spoiler Folder, where you can read full results of each show before they happen, if that suits your fancy.
And of course, it's full debate and ratings time AFTER the shows air, too, so be sure to check out that spectacle (and think about chiming in).
For now, here's the standard look back at least week's ratings results, and a (non-spoiler) look ahead to tonight's big shows.


WWE RAW Rating: 3.2 (hours of 3.0 and 3.3, overrun of 3.7)
TNA Impact Rating: 0.9 (hours of 0.9 and 0.8, overrun of 1.0)
Analysis: For Impact, the news is sorta-good. The move to 8pm gave them a competition-free hour head-start on RAW, and viewership rebounded from last week's abysmal 0.6. The show was strong enough to retain most of its audience once RAW (and the NCAA game) started; in fact (in a move that makes me weep), the highest rated segment was something *I* viewed as a purposeful "throw-away" (TNA seemed to punt the last 45 minutes of the show after putting Angle/Kennedy on early), as the stupid diva lockbox/striptease thingie scored big number. So those asshats Hogan/Bischoff/Spike now have "evidence" that titties=ratings, which cannot bode well for those of us who know where to find titties other than on basic cable when we're trying to watch a wrestling show.
For RAW, the news ain't so hot. A huge dip back down from the post-Mania showing, and one of 2010's worst numbers to date. The NCAA game scored huge numbers (an almost 50% gain over last year's finals, due in large part to those lovable Indiana Boys from Butler; admit it OO Nation, Indiana Boys are just irresistable, aren't I?), and much to my chagrin, "Dancing with the Goddamned Motherfucking Stars" is the new #1 TV Sensation in all the land (even topping "American Idol" in the ratings), which really is having a trickledown effect onto RAW. There's also a lot to be said for RAW last week just being not-very-good, too, but if the Fed wanted to claim some sort of deleterious effect from competition (other than competition from TNA), they might have a point. They'll also have to re-rebound THIS week to prove that point, however, as there's no hoops, only Dancing with the Stars, to contend with.
I guess here is as good a place as any to note that Spike was heartened enough by last week's results to make the move to 8pm INSTANTLY permanent. I mean THIS WEEK permenant. TONIGHT permanent. So adjust your schedules/DVRs/whatever accordingly. And then, in two weeks, prepare for it not to matter, since WWE is busting out a special 3 hour show for the Draft Lottery, just to screw with TNA. Muwhahahahahahahaha!
TNA IMPACT (SpikeTV, 8pm)
What's Been Promised: With the massive success of titties on last week's show, tonight's show will feature Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky in a "Leather and Lace" Match, which I'm assuming one will be all frilly and the other will be all bondagey, and neither will be even remotely hot. Note to girls: I do not want you to change into fresh/expensive/implausible lingerie, stockings, and underdrawers before you let me have my way with you, I'll settle for just having you change out of whatever you got on. I will even assist. Slowly. Just the way you like it, honey. "Leather and Lace" my fucking ass... have fun 13-year-olds and weirdo fetish enthusiasts!
In man-on-man action, the highlight will either be the Dudleyz (or, "Team 3-D," with their new non-Spike mascot Jesse Neal) taking on the Wolfpac (or, "Band") in a very special ECW vs. WCW Let's Pretend It's 1996 Match, or a follow up from last week's Storm/RVD match as their partners (Roode and Jeff Hardy) face off in singles competition ahead of their respective involvements in the Team Hogan/Team Flair Lethal Lockdown match. 
Other Stuff to Look For: With the Lockdown PPV looming, it's not hard to assume there will be more than just the one singles match "previewing" the 10-man Team Hogan vs. Team Flair match; promos from the two geriatrics and other in-ring confrontations are almost a certainty (Sting's mysterious motivations -- which involve everybody forgetting he was already a heel back a year ago -- seem to be getting the most attention)... and the two other PPV matches that will surely get a lot of attention tonight are TNA Champ AJ Styles vs. Pope Dinero, and Kurt Angle vs. Ken "Kennedy" Anderson.
In fact, I think I can say this without it being a total "spoiler" (even though TNA hasn't included it in their official previews), but there will be a Styles/Wolfe vs. Pope/Lethal tag match tonight which also reviewed fairly well.... and I guess I'll throw in a mention of a tag title defense, too.
The Verdict: Yep, it's a pre-PPV show, and yep, that means now hugely newsworthy stuff will be happening, and it'll mostly be a hard-sell on getting you interested in plunking down your money on Sunday... but at the same time, if you're looking for a show with at least SOME wrestling on it, this'll be that, with 3 matches that have some backstory/reason-to-exist, and 2 of them reviewing fairly well according to folks who attended tapings in the WankerZone. There is absolutely no reason not to keep an eye on TNA tonight, especially during the no-compete opening hour. Check it out, see if you like what you see and then: decide what you want to do at 9pm once RAW and "24" both hit the air and make things complicated.
WWE Monday Night RAW (USA, 9pm)
What's Been Promised: Well, like I said above, RAW is being taped in Europe, so things will get kind of wacky. Last time they were there for TV, they had some Fat British Ricky (who wasn't Gervais) as Guest GM, and he sucked. Tonight, that role goes to.... Hasselhoff?!?!?!? Jesus H. Lap-Dancing Christ, WWE: you're in ENGLAND, not GERMANY. That dude is relevent in exactly on nation on this planet, and this one may be geographically proximate, but it ain't the one.
So: expect Santino being the voice of a black match-box car in one skit, and then just cross your fingers that -- for reasons that might have been on the cutting edge of pop culture 15 years ago -- Gail Kim will be bouncing around in a skimpy red bathing suit, possibly performing mouth-to-mouth on Kelly Kelly. I'd watch that. 
Actually, that probably won't happen, as there is already a scheduled Divas Match tonight, following last week's #1 Conteder dealy. Maryse defends her title against Eve Torres. The skimpy red swimsuits don't do quite as much for me here, given how bad the "wrestling" will be. D'oh.
And your main event tonight: Batista vs. Randy Orton. Oy. As good as Batista has been since his heel turn, that doesn't make Orton any more likeable as a babyface in my book. But the people have spoken: line-mangling, chin-locking, bag-pooping, date-raping, AWOL-going, high-school-out-dropping mediocre metrosexual mantards are AWESOME. Go Randall! I presume this could be used as the premise for getting Orton involved in the Batista/Cena title feud, too, so that RAW (like SD) ends up with a 3-way title match at Extreme Rules. Whee?
Other Stuff To Look For: I guess I kinda already shot my wad on predicting that Hasselhoff will lead to Knight Rider and Baywatch jokes, and that Batista/Orton will lead to Orton entering the title picture, but yeah... those are two things to look for.
Other than that? Hell, I dunno... OK, so there will be HHH vs. Sheamus, too, but I'm not exactly wetting my man-panties over that one... also: ShowMiz are other "staples" for RAW, but their main tag title issue is over on SD (with the Hart Dynasty), and they've seemingly forgotten Miz is the US Champ (I'm assuming that is because we'll remember he's the champ when he loses said title to Dan Bryan after he wins NXT?). Don't know what you could do with those guys.... building up the new "Million Dollar Champ" Ted DiBiase should be a fun little project, as the kid's got skills int he ring, and finally cut a decent promo last week, too; don't know if it involves extending his feud with Christian, or treading water by beating scrubs until (maybe) his younger (even-more-talented) brother is called up from FCW, but either way works for me... Kofi Kingston seems to be a forgotten man around RAW; from beating Orton to job duty in 6 months, wow. I'd say that sucks, but look what happened with Swagger: they COULD just be setting Kofi up for a mega-push out of left field. Or they could just be jobbing him out because he's headed to SD in the Draft... speaking of which, although the "logical" reasons for SD crossovers tonight are slim, I wouldn't mind seeing them shoehorn a few in by way of hyping up the Draft in 2 weeks; sort of get guys mixing and mingling to see what works and all that. Right now, my two gut-feel guesses are Jericho-to-RAW (they need another top heel) and Orton-to-SD (RAW has too many top faces, unless they really are willing to turn Cena; Orton has a built-in claim to top-dog status, too, as he already squashed SD's World Champ last week), but if WWE has other ideas, it'd be nice to see a bit of foreshadowing.
The Verdict: Any show with Batista/Orton as the main event ain't gonna go down as "good on paper" in The Rick's book... but there are some ancillary things happening that could/should be fun (or, at least, illustrative), so I'm not pre-throwing-RAW-under-the-bus. If you happen to read this after 5pm, you can always go check the Spoilers, however, and decide for yourself if the lack of on-paper sizzle translated into a in-reality trainwreck. As it stands at this point, you give me a Reds game, "24," and even a few bits of TNA I wanna check out, and RAW is NOT guaranteed my real-time eyeballs tonight. My timeshifting/FF-capable DVR eyeballs, however, are totally loyal to my lords and masters in Stamford.

There you have it: the Tale of the Tape for tonight's TNA vs. WWE War. May it inform your flipping finger and keep you one step ahead of The Suck. 
And remember that if I have done anything to inform your flipping finger to avoid Impact and RAW completely, you can just come on back to OO tomorrow for full recaps and analysis of each show by Danny and Pyro. Later on, kids...

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28



Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.



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