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The Midweek News

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I survived the first incarnation of this piece unscathed, so it's time to dive back in and tackle round two. As the newsbiters among you may have noticed, Byron Vester and The Dames kept the news rolling with their own updates this weekend. I'm going to try not to duplicate anything they've covered, so if I do, just chalk it up to unquenchable journalistic zeal. I promise to be just as cynical, witty, and insightful, though, even in the reduced space I have to cover this week. It's all about quality over quantity for me, friends, and this is yet another example of why I am a hero to children in impoverished nations the world over.


On another note, last week's inclusion of a line from a classic William Butler Yeats poem seemed to be a popular little twist. I'm going to include a line from some literary classic every week now, though I'm no longer going to point them out. It will be your job to find them, and email me with who wrote it and in what work it appeared. The winner will get . . . nothing. Well, the satisfaction of a job well-done counts for something, doesn't it?


So for the second week in a row, here's all the news that's fit to steal, all the dirt that's fit to deal, and all the mud that's fit to sling.


R(atings) A(re) W(orthless)


Raw continued to go into the tank ratings-wise, garnering only a 3.6 rating for this past Monday's show. That is down from last week's anemic 3.7 rating. This week's Raw was the best they've put on in a while, continuing the good trends Smackdown started. Unfortunately, that hasn't translated into the viewers bothering to watch the show yet. If WWE keeps going down a good road, though, the ratings will return to more respectable levels. The key is not to panic and rush people like the Rock back early and push new guys like Brock too far too fas . . . what? Oh. Damn.


In other, less important ratings news, WWE Divas Parade For Masturbatory Teenagers drew a solid 1.8 rating. When your only competition is a parentally-locked Skinemax, you're going to win your time slot. Velocity drew a 1.2 rating, Confidential a 1.3, and Heat continued to look like a B show in every possible way with a lousy 1.0.


(Credit: RajahWWF.com, Nielsen Media)


In Case You Stepped Away For Better TV


If you missed Raw last night (and even if you didn't), read JHawk's take on it. Here are the quick and dirty results, with my typically excellent opinions:


-- Flair vs Brock: Decent match from both men. The Explorer Refresh at the end looked a little sloppy, though, and it sucks that Flair lost because he made a rookie mistake. It's Ric Fucking Flair, for chrissakes. 4/10


-- Bradshaw vs Harvard: It's obvious the wrong man won Tough Enough, but what's with a rookie turning Justin Hawk Bradshaw into his bitch? DUD


-- RVD vs Regal: A clash of styles if there ever was one, but I thought they still got a decent match out of it. 3/10


-- Bubba/Spike vs EDDY~!/Benoit: Spike's no D'Von, and the Bubba Bomb is no finisher. It was good to see Benoit back in the ring, of course. 5/10


-- Booker vs Big Slow: Hey, a countout win that made sense! It was still a Big Slow match, though. 1/10


-- Jeff Hardy vs Undertaker: Quite possibly the worst ladder match ever, but it wasn't supposed to be a classic. Looks like UT is going face pretty soon. 3/10


Elsewhere in the arena, Trish pantsed Molly and made fun of her ass (which is a very nice ass attached to a very attractive woman, despite WWE's disgusting attempts to pigeonhole all women into anorexic beauty queen standards), Goldust dressed up as Darth Vader, Brock and RVD signed up to get it on at Vengeance, and the NWOld showed Big Slow some tough love. I think tougher love would be keeping his fat ass away from the buffet lines, but I guess Sweet Chin Music comes across better on TV.


All in all, a pretty good show, and certainly better than what they've been doing.


Them Rednecks Could Be Onto Sumthin' Down Thar


It's unquestionably geared to a Southern audience, and contains more appeanrances by country music "artists" than the Surgeon General recommends, but the fledgling NWA:TNA promotion is definitely making some waves. Their second show was more successful than anticipated, and they're looking to build on that for this Wednesday's PPV extravaganza. It remains to be seen if a weekly PPV model can succeed, but damn if Jerry Jarrett isn't doing all he can to make it work.


Psicosis, Jerry Lynn, Low-Ki, and eventual winner AJ Styles put on a fabulous match, one I'm happy to say I've seen thanks to the magic of Kazaa. If they're going to put on quality matches like this every week, it will be well worth the $10 weekly PPV charge. Now if only they'd get rid of the country stars and cut Jeff Jarrett's TV time in half, they'd really have an excellent product going.


I Don't Do Commercials


Speculation is rampant that a reconciliation is in the works between Steve Austin and WWE. This centers on the fact that Austin appears prominently in a commercial shot for the event, and on the poster.


The thing is, promotional stuff for the PPVs is done months in advance. When Austin was filmed to hype Vengeance, he was on good terms with WWE. That is obviously not the case now, and no one knows when or if that will change. Nothing is impossible in wrestling, a business whose promoters have repeatedly trained its fans into thinking they're pathological liars, but an early return by Austin seems unlikely.


The company has moved along in his absence, and last week's Smackdown was a perfect example of their commitment to creating new stars. Keep in mind also that a lot of major media outlets picked up on Austin's troubles after he walked out of Raw, so the allegations of domestic abuse are known by smarks and casual fans alike. Austin might have been popular, but how willing would the fans be to cheer a man they think beat up his wife? This is completely the wrong time for an Austin return, and I think Vince McMahon is a savvy enough businessman to recognize that.


(Credit: Wrestlingobserver.com)


How Many Euros Does $0 Convert Into?


WWA has had to "postpone" its European tour, which was to take the promotion thru Germany, Ireland, and Switzerland, because of horrible advance sales. Considering half their roster went over to Jerry Jarrett's NWA promotion (though they still appear on the WWA's web site), and unreliable freakshows like Scott Steiner are now the big draw, it's no surprise the WWA can't generate much interest. NWA:TNA has managed to make something of a name for itself quickly, while WWA has had a lot longer to build a reputation, and has done nothing but squander the chance.


According to the WWA's website, the postponed European tour will be re-scheduled for November, when the company is also supposed to swing thru England. It remains to be seen if they'll even exist in November. If that tour gets "postponed," too, you can hammer the final nail in the coffin. Anyone want to start a dead pool as to when the WWA officially tosses in the towel? Email me your drop-dead date, and the closest reader will win . . . a new car! Wait, we can't afford one of those. Um . . . how about a new futon? Damn, that's not in the budget either. Fine, you'll win the admiration of your fellow bitter, jaded, Chris Jericho-hating smark friends for your amazing powers of prognostication. Hey, you want better prizes, broker us some sweet sponsorship deals.


(Credit: Wrestlingobserver.com, Worldwrestlingallstars.com)


I Wonder If They Considered "Malevolent Onslaught"


Ok, show of hands: who's sick of "ruthless aggression" already?


I think I tired of it the first night. Now that it's in its second week, it's just getting even more annoying. I lost count of the number of times it was said on Raw, but the final tally was probably about 75,000. I can see it on Raw next week . . . .


::The Undertaker parks his bike and walks into the arena.::


JR: BY GAWD KING, look at the RUTHLESS AGGRESSION in the Undertaker's strides! He's a hoss! Booger Red! Big Evil!


Lawler: Hey, look, there's Terri! I'd like to show her puppies some ruthless aggression! Woo-hoo! I'm even more of a self-parody than "Mr." McMahon, JR! Puppies!


JR: The Undertaker is heading this way, King. BY GAWD, Big Evil is going to show us all what BY GAWD RUTHLESS AGGRESSION really means.


It could happen. Mark my words, and live in fear the day that it does.


Ken Caminiti Will Be The Special Guest Referee


Apparently, WWE hasn't used up its quota of musclebound, inflexible steroid freaks with HHH. Scott Steiner has been telling people his WWE debut is scheduled for August or September. It was designed that way initially so he could do the WWA's European tour, but with that being scuttled, it's unknown whether or not Steiner will debut sooner.


Rumors that Steiner will be involved in a tag team with HHH called the Needle Freaks have not been confirmed at this time.


(Credit: PWTorch newsletter)


You May My Glories And My State Depose . . .


Goldberg is apparently in the "not negotiating" phase of his on again/off again mutual infatuation with WWE. Personally, I think Goldberg needs WWE more than they need him. How many movies has he starred in since WCW went under? I'm sure he's still able to live comfortably off the fat (and recently expired) contract they gave him, but the money's going to run out sooner or later, and his window of opportunity will close at some point.


Also, how long before the fans just don't give a shit about Goldberg anymore? WCW destroyed his mystique, so he'd be living off the residuals, anyway. Bill Goldberg seems very conflicted about the business that made him a star, and I think he has a lot of issues to work out before he is able to negotiate seriously with WWE.


From The Horse's Er . . . Mouth


When he's not busy slagging the internet fans, Jim Ross still writes the Ross Report over at wwe.com. Here are some of the more significant snippets:


-- There are no plans to scrap the "brand extension."


-- Tough Enough 3 will get underway this month, but an exact location and starting date have yet to be determined. Al Snow, Ivory, and Hugh Morrus will be the instructors this time.


-- Rikishi is in line for more TV time. Obviously, having a gimmick of being a fat guy who doesn't wash your ass is a hit with the fans.


-- Kane should return in about six weeks.


(Credit: wwe.com, Ross Report)


From The Horse's Ass' Mouth


Remember L. Brent Bozell and his band of lackeys, the Parents' Television Council (PTC)? They were extremely anti-wrestling for a while, going as far as accusing the then-WWF of contributing to the "wrestling deaths" in cases like that of Lionel Tate. They also led a reasonably successful boycott of WWF advertisers, and like it or not, they messed with Vince's grapefruits enough to get the TV pulled back more toward the PG range.


Well, now the PTC have basically confirmed what everyone knew all along: they were a bunch of self-righteous, self-important, moralizing blowhards with a stick up their collective ass when it came to popular culture, and they lashed out at the WWF as a result. These are the same kinds of cretins who blame Marilyn Manson for Columbine, and Judas Priest/Ozzy Osbourne/random metal band for teenagers committing suicide. I tend to hate it when Vince McMahon gloats, but I'd love to see him get on TV and tell the PTC that he won, and they're a bunch of assholes who can kindly go fuck off.


(Credit: 411wrestling.com, parentstv.org)


In Japan, I Would've Whipped All Your Asses By Now


Another wrestler has run afoul of the law. Vader was arrested in Colorado Monday night on several charges, the most serious of the lot being resisting arrest, leaving the scene of an accident, and suspicion of drunk driving. According to reports, it took eight officers, two dogs, and three sets of handcuffs to bring Vader into custody without a lot of incident. Talk about no-selling . . .


According to Colorado officials, this was not Vader's first DWI arrest.


(Credit: 411wrestling.com, thedailycamera.com)


This wraps up the second edition of the Midweek News. I'm going to stay on the Wednesday gig except for PPV weeks, when I'll slide over to the weekends so Dames can cover the PPV. I'll basically be doing his week in review column, though I've promised him I wouldn't pinch his "Top 5" format. Later this week, Byron Vester will check in with another news update, and Dames will tidy up the week sometime Sunday or Monday.


Have a good 4th of July holiday, and remember to celebrate our great country's independence by getting drunk and blowing shit up.


Dr. Tom

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