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You don't have to wait until the M/W/F
editions of Online Onslaught to get the latest news...
stripped down to the bare essentials, you'll find breaking news
reported in near-real-time.
February 18, 2003 / 2:00pm Quick RAW Recap
In lieu of one of OO's usual RAW recaps, here
are the highlights from last night's show for anyone who missed
out... straight results in black, brief opinions in red italics:
Rob Van Dam defeated Lance Storm in a singles
match to open the show. Both Kane and William Regal were
also at ringside, and ran interference for their respective
partners. The finish came when Kane intercepted Regal's
attempt at interference, giving RVD enough time to hit the
Five Star Frog Splash for the pinfall win. [A
decent 7-8 minute opener, really, and a good way to build
expectations for Sunday's PPV tag title match between these
Backstage: Shawn Michaels was chatting with
Jeff Hardy, complaining about an airline losing his luggage
and not having any of his usual gear with him. Bischoff
walks by, and Michaels smugly wishes him good luck Sunday
against Austin, because he's gonna need it. Bischoff
does not like this.
Bischoff hit the ring for a promo.
First, he reinstated Chief Morley. Then, to get back at
Michaels, he booked Michaels/Hardy vs. Chris Jericho/Christian
in a No-DQ Match for later in the night. Then he
announced that he had indefinitely suspended Bubba and D-Von
Dudley, and also that he had booked Spike Dudley vs. Three
Minute Warning for later tonight. Then, he talked about
his 20 years of Karate Fighting domination and how he's not
afraid of Steve Austin; he also promised to showcase his
skills tonight in a match... against Jim Ross. [A
throwback to the old "clipboard" RAWs, where a
McMahon would come out and basically give reasons for booking
every match on the show... I like that. Good delivery
from Bischoff, too.]
Backstage: Steven Richards tries to get
Victoria to make peace with her makeshift tag partner,
Jazz. Instead, Victoria alienates Jazz, and Jazz alludes
to her desire to be women's champion.
Jazz and Victoria beat Jacqueline and Molly
Holly. Story here had Jazz tagging herself in so that
she could get the win in the end (pinning Jackie). After
the match, Jazz also punked out Molly, and got into a staring
contest with Victoria. [A nothing
match, really, but I guess it sets up Victoria as a bit of a
tweener, and opens up more possibilities for a women's title
feud beyond just Trish.]
Backstage: Booker T is interviewed and says
that Goldust is physically getting better, but is not right in
the head. Then he promises revenge on
"Evolution" in his tag match later tonight. A
quick cut to the Evolution dressing room sees Triple H implore
his troops to put Booker in the hospital next to Goldust, and
to do even worse things to prevent Scott Steiner from making
it to the No Way Out PPV.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler briefly eulogized
"Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, and then introduced a
really classy tribute video set to Hennig's old WWF music.
Clips from last Monday's RAW (which were
actually bumped to last night's Heat) were shown: Teddy
Long was pissed that D'Lo lost to Booker T, and so he went to
Plan B... which was Rodney "Redd Dogg" Mack
Rodney Mack (w/ Teddy Long and new
catchphrase "Back the Mack") beat Al Snow with a
modified Tiger Bomb that looked like it almost broke Snow's
neck (but Snow was OK). [It was
what it was: an introduction to Rodney Mack. Pardon me
if I'm already missing D'Lo Brown.]
Backstage, Chris Jericho and Christian
briefly talked about how they were going to punk out Shawn
Michaels and Jeff Hardy. On his way out of the dressing
room, Jericho did a Mr. Perfect Gum Swat. Nice touch.
Shawn Michaels and Jeff Hardy beat Chris
Jericho and Christian in a No-DQ tag match. Story here
had Michaels and Hardy getting off to a fast start, only to be
derailed when Jericho hand-cuffed Michaels to the lower ring
rope. A non-stop assault on Hardy commenced, with
Jericho periodically stopping to taunt Michaels with the key
to the cuffs. Of course, one of those times, he got too
close, and got a superkick for his troubles. He dropped
the key within reach of Michaels, who escaped the cuffs, and
got up on the apron just in time to get the hot tag from
Jeff. Michaels was a house afire, eventually
superkicking a chair into Jericho's face, allowing Jeff Hardy
to land a Swanton Bomb for the pinfall win. [A
good 7-8 minute match, a tad better than the opener, with
Michaels minimal work nicely masked by the handcuffing
thing. But I wish they'd find a route for Jeff's
character and stick with it; and I admit I preferred whiny
diva-ish heel to HBK Protégé.]
Backstage: Jericho starts throwing props
around, shouting about how he can't believe Jeff Hardy broke
his losing streak against the King of the World. He
promises revenge on Jeff Hardy.
Hurricane beat Chris Nowinski with the Eye of
the Hurricane. [Pointless match with
no heat, but still well-worked enough, I guess.]
Backstage: Eric Bischoff is spied sparring
with Chief Morley (who has pasted JR's face onto some kick
Rico, Jamal, and Rosie positivley squashed
Spike Dudley in a 3-on-1 handicap match. Rico was
allowed to make the pin after Jamal and Rosie did most of the
damage. [It was meant as the
counter-point to last week's three-on-one squash of Morley by
the Duds, but it doesn't play as well when it's the babyface
who has absolutely no chance to win in the eyes of the
Backstage: Scott Steiner is interviewed, and
his focus is on the World Title match on Sunday, which he vows
to win. Enter Booker T, who stares down Steiner and
tells him it's time to take care of some revenge in tonight's
tag match. They finally agree and split to take care of
Booker T and Scott Steiner beat Triple H and
Batista. HHH started the match, and worked a good
portion of it despite coming back from an injured thigh.
That said, there wasn't a whole lot of high risk work done in
the match, which even included the dreaded "Main Event
Sleeper" by HHH. The end came when Steiner got tied
up with Batista after trying to evade interference from Ric
Flair and Randy Orton. That left Booker alone in the
ring with Triple H. Booker hit the axe kick, and got the
surprise pinfall win. [Another
decent match in the 7-8 minute range, but mostly, I probably
just liked it because the pinfall-over-the-champ by Booker
enhances the possibilities for Booker's break-out WM19 match
Eric Bischoff beat Jim Ross in a segment that
could not, by even the most generous standards, be called a
"match." Prior to the contest, Bischoff did
some karate bits, breaking a couple boards and kicking clean
through a watermelon. He was about to go for a
cinderblack when JR's entrance interrupted him. Bischoff
declared the match was No Holds Barred at that point, which
made Chief Morley's interference perfectly legal. As
soon as JR gained a slight advantage, Morley was in to beat
him down. At that point, Bischoff kicked a cinderblock
into JR's head, drawing Jerry Lawler from the announce
desk. Morley took care of Lawler, and Bischoff dealt
with JR, who had gotten back up (bloody, mind you).
Bischoff knocked JR back down with a kick, and pinned
him. After the "match," Bischoff closed the
show by celebrating, Stone Cold Style, with a few beers.
[Not much good here, as this was a
segment that did NOT put people -- not even a gimmicked cinder
block -- in position to look strong. Luckily, the
massive Austin Tease is now over, and we won't be subjected to
any more of this marking time.]
More thoughts/fall-out in Wednesday's regular OO
February 10, 2003 / 5:00pm Curt Hennig, Dead at Age 43
Curt Hennig, perhaps best known for his WWF run
as "Mr. Perfect" in the late 80s and early 90s, was
found dead in a Tampa, FL, hotel room about three hours ago.
He was in Florida to do interviews and help promote a Jimmy
Hart-organized event later this week.
At the present time, no foul play is suspected. Suspicions
have already turned to Hennig's love of the
party-it-up-on-the-road lifestyle combined with the possibility of
recreational drug use motivated by back pain that kept him out of
the ring for over a year in the early 90s as possible scapegoats for yet
another too-young wrestling death.
Hennig, who came up through the AWA and also had
a brief WWF run a little over 20 years ago, really came to
national prominence when given the "Mr. Perfect" gimmick
in the WWF. There, he feuded with World Champ Hulk Hogan,
and enjoyed lengthy reigns as the InterContinental champ. As
an "executive consultant" he was also key to Ric Flair's
lone WWF Title run, before returning to active in-ring duty in
1993 following 18 months off due to a bad back.
In WCW, he was a member of both the nWo and the
"West Texas Rednecks," and he also got to make a brief
return to the WWF early in 2002. That run ended as a result
of Hennig's poor behavior (rumored to have included a tussle with
Brock Lesnar) on the return flight from an overseas tour.
Additional details from PWTorch.com reveal that Hennig was fine at
9:30 this morning, and made a lunch date with referee Mickey Jay
at that time. When Hennig did not show up on time, a check
of his hotel room found him dead.
I'll have any additional details that come up
regarding the circumstances of Hennig's death -- and certainly a
much more fitting career retrospective -- in Wednesday's OO.
January 3, 2003 / 2:30pm WWE Back Live, and Other NewsBites
Starting today, WWE is back on a normal schedule
following the holidays. With both Royal Rumble and the RAW
10th Anniversary happening this month -- and WrestleMania looming
on the horizon -- things should get pretty busy pretty fast.
Here's a quick batch of news to get you ready for an eventful
SmackDown! is live tonight, with three major
elements already in place for the show.
First, let's get the not-so-promising out of the way:
Dawn Marie and Al Wilson will be getting married. But of
course, wrestling weddings never go as planned, so zaniness
will come into play here. The obvious swerves are Dawn
Marie outright stopping the ceremony, telling Al that she
played him for a fool; or you could have Al slowly realize
what's really going on and have him give us a happy ending by
leaving Dawn at the altar and making peace with his daughter,
Torrie. Either way, expect Cole and Tazz to have to mock
the whole skit to make it even remotely watchable.
Second: although Kurt Angle can't work a match, he'll be
present as the Captain of Team Angle. And they'll be
doing everything in their power to make sure Chris Benoit has
no momentum heading into his title shot versus Angle at the
Royal Rumble. Lingering issue: can Big Show resign
himself to being a second-rate member of Paul Heyman's
stable? I mean, I don't foresee Heyman placating him
with Team Show anytime soon...
And third: Brock Lesnar vs. Matt Hardy should be a
featured match. Matt issued a challenge to Lesnar last
week, and -- though I hear Vegas has Lesnar as a heavy
favorite with a match-length over/under of 2 minutes, 10
seconds -- so I'd say this is looking like a centerpiece for a
show that otherwise has storylines to tell, but no actual
in-ring contests lined up.
Check out SmackDown! tonight on UPN, or come on back for The
Cubs Fan's recap here on OO...
Triple H is expected back in the ring at this
weekend's house shows, including departures from the
continental US for shows in Hawaii. The thigh injury
that limited HHH at the Armageddon PPV and that has kept him
out of the ring for the past 3 weeks is still not at 100%, but
the plan is for HHH to get back in the ring as soon as
Not only is there the issue of trying to make sure fans get
their money's worth, but the Fed also wants to get HHH and
Steiner in the ring with each other a few times before they
have to do their act for a PPV crowd at the Rumble.
While the RAW brand travels to Hawaii for a
pair of house shows this weekend, the SmackDown! brand gets to
fly up to Alaska for shows in Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Mmmmm... a weekend in Alaska during the dead of winter.
Shawn Stasiak has told the
NoHoldsBarredWrestling.com audio show that he will be
returning to WWE in January. Stasiak, plagued by injury
and a lack of a really marketable gimmick, was released by the
Fed in that latter part of 2002.
Who knows? This might only be a one-night mini-return
for Stasiak on the 10th Anniversary RAW... but just in
case, you might want to brace yourselves for another rocket
trip to Planet Stasiak.
Bret Hart's has publicly denied any interest
in ever returning to WWE, but it does appear that his first
major post-stroke wrestling appearances have been
Hart is expected to be a part of WWA's February tour of
Europe, likely reprising a commissioner-type role for the
group. Bret will also be brining some up-and-coming
Canadian indie wrestlers along to get exposure during the
December 20, 2002 / 3:30pm Quick Weekend Newsbites
With a ton of other cool stuff posted today for
you to read, and with not a whole lot else going on, I'm just
resurrecting the Ticker for today's brief update:
I saw most of SmackDown! last night while
erecting the creed-non-specific Holiday Tree at my mom's
house, and all I can say is, "Whoo Hoo!".
They're working Angle/Lesnar in a way that it'll be a huge,
must-see type of match for just about every fan... not just
for the smarts who could get fired up about the amateur champ
vs. amateur champ aspect of it. Adding Heyman into the
mix means Big Show stays involved in this, too, and keeps
having interesting storylines about him, which helps
compensate for his matches being not as well worked.
Also: Edge over Albert cleanly is probably the finish they
should have just gone with at the PPV, because it was ever so
much more satisfying... not sure I agree with having
Nunzio squashed in his first match, but ol' Bill DeMott
benefited from how that segment went down; by the time he
pasted his own tag partner, the crowd was actually paying
attention... "big ups," as the kids on the
street say, to John Cena and his Rhyme Developmental Team; now
if only they didn't feel this need to put Rikishi over him at
every turn, he might get somewhere with this gimmick...
On the downside: why, oh why, waste so much time with more
Torrie/Dawn Marie nonsense? It flopped at the PPV, and
it's not like it's gonna age well. Let's just try to
keep everything as short and un-stupid as possible for the
next week or two until we do the inevitable
Al-leaves-Dawn-at-the-altar angle, OK?
You can get the full results from SmackDown! right
The overnight rating for SD! was a 4.2, which
is down 0.2 from the previous week's overnight rating, and
identical to the ON from 2 weeks ago. As per custom,
we'll have a final rating on Monday.
As discussed in Wednesday's OO, there is no
plan to hold a RAW taping for the show to air on 12/30, and it
now sounds like WWE will just be putting together a Year in
Review sort of thing for that night. I hope they've
already got ILM on retainer to take care of making four months
worth of "F's" disappear!
Nothing new on the Goldberg front, but for
those who questioned whether all that talk I did in the last
few weeks about Bret Hart's travel plans was for real or not,
well, here's something...
Hart dropped the ceremonial puck at the Florida Panthers game
on Wednesday night in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
While it doesn't confirm any sort of meeting with WWE
officials, it does make me a lot more likely to believe the
super-top-secret source within the airline industry who tipped
me off to Hart flying to Florida, supposedly on WWE's
dime. Actually, the way the deal worked out, Bret was in
Atlanta last week when WWE was there, and then flew to Florida
a couple days before the Armageddon PPV. Shadowing WWE,
if you enjoy building up conspiracy theories.
I'm not one for the grand theories and rumor mongering...
because the truth is, Hart considered himself retired for
health reasons even BEFORE his stroke this summer.
There's nothing much to get excited for. But that said,
it would a thousand kinds of cool if the parties involved
could let bygones be bygones so that Bret could get in front
of a live audience, in a non-wrestling capacity, just to get
some kind of fitting, affectionate send-off from fans.
And maybe, just for the hell of it, a free shot on Vince
As I've said once or twice in recent weeks, it could be that
the RAW 10th Anniversary would provide the perfect
That is all. Enjoy the weekend.
Get your holiday shopping done. See you Monday.
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