Jump to content
TSM Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Guest TSMAdmin

The Midweek News

Recommended Posts

Guest TSMAdmin

Football season is fast approaching, friends. Preseason games are being played, training camp battles for starting jobs are being fought, and the general managers' war against the salary cap is once again in full swing. The Houston Texans join the league this year, and they look to have the best chance for immediate success among all the recent expansion teams. The NFL has realigned into eight four-team division, preserving some rivalries while killing others. And my hometown Ravens are getting ready to embark on a season in which 8-8 would be a success.


Do you want to know what the best reason is for reveling in the fact that football is around the corner?


It's an excellent alternative to shitty RAWs on Monday nights.


Last week, there were no winners in Spot The Classic. I said I'd make a little more challenging after giving away three new cars in the last month ("business expenses," but no one tell Dames), and I guess I did. It's not that last week's classic was obscure, just that it was easily mistaken for everyday speech. "The game is up" is from Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," Act III, Scene 3. As always, if you spot something from a literary classic in one of my headlines, drop me an email.


Miscellaneous note: If I refer to Raw as being "last night" in any of these news reports, it's because I write the bulk of them on Tuesday evenings. I try to catch those when I proofread, but it's possible some might slip thru here and there.


Keeping last night's lousy Raw in mind, 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.


Raw Rewound


As always, for your in-depth look at Raw, check out JHawk's Raw report. I give you the Readers' Digest version.


-- Bubba vs. Big Slow: Stupid run-ins in a table match, and Slow was involved. NEXT! DUD


-- Bradshaw vs. Dreamer: Someone get the bullrope away from Bradshaw. Only the DDT on the steps saved this one from complete oblivion. 1/10


-- Test vs. Slaughter: No match, and no way to payoff the buildup. It's not like the match would have been good, but couldn't they at least let Sarge slap the cobra clutch on Test while he was waving the flag upside-down? No rating.


-- Bookdust vs. Regal/Harvard: Chris looked a little green, but getting him out there with three veterans will help him improve. Good formula match, and Dustin's selling of the arm (how often do you see a one-armed sunset flip?) was great. 5/10


-- Victoria vs. Trish: The fake injury was stupid, but the rest of the match was watchable. Now if only someone would stick a big fucking cork down Jerry Lawler's piehole, I'd be a happy man. 2/10


-- Storm/Christian vs. Hardyz: Yay, it's the Hardyz again. When it looks like they give a shit, maybe I'll start. 1/10


-- Jericho vs. RVD: Jericho will get another win at some point, and I'm guessing at Summerslam against Flair after The Man's interference in this one. 5/10


In lieu of the usual "Other Developments" I would normally put here, I'm just going to rant about a couple of the reasons Raw sucked such a savage sausage last night.


Jerry Lawler Is A Dirty Old Man. It's Victoria's debut match on Raw, and she's against Trish, who's improved immensely in the past year and is a perennial contender for the Women's Title. So Lawler spends the ENTIRE match asking Molly about her virginity and using crude euphemisms for losing it. Hey King: SHUT THE FUCK UP. Let the girls wrestle and tell a story, and give the one making her debut a chance to get over. The match itself was pretty good (the silly and obvious fake injury aside), but I had to distract myself from it because I just couldn't stand to listen to Lawler. I know Molly's supposed to be virtuous in real life, so I don't know what her real reactions were, but she seemed none too pleased on the show. This is why the Women's Division is never taken seriously: there's never a separation between the actual wrestling (which has improved leaps and bounds since the girls started working with Fit Finlay) and the T&A. There's nothing like a shrill, "Woo-hoo, JR! Puppies!" to break the flow of a good Trish-Molly or Trish-Jazz match. WWE shoots themselves in the foot on this count by making bra-and-panties matches, but even if they stopped doing that, the overgrown adolescent sitting beside Jim Ross will never give the division a chance to live on its own merits. Fuck you, Jerry Lawler. Go prowl around a junior high school for your next wife and stay the hell off my TV.


The Cerebral Assassin Outsmarts Himself. Wow, those segments with HHH interrogating the locker room looking for Shawn's assailant were necessary, weren't they? Instead of giving more time to the wrestling (not that much of it was good, but this is a general principle argument), the writers have HHH walking around playing detective, when they know he's going to be the guilty one at the end. This is despite the fact that he was supposedly the only one who couldn't have been in the parking lot at the time. I fail to see the point of having HHH play Sherlock Holmes for two hours, only to end up being Professor Moriarty at the end. I know he was trying to serve everyone, but encapsulating the whole thing in a two-hour show makes it come across as a silly train wreck.


Assassination = I'll Talk You To Death. Generally, I don't like it when main events are given secondary status so that a talking segment can close the show. But last night's laborious segment involving HHH and HBK was beyond the pale. I can't recall being more bored watching a wrestling show in a long time. All that talking and playing nice, just to use "enhanced footage" to show HHH as the assailant? Talk about a buildup to a letdown. Why spend fifteen minutes building up a match between two cripples? Shawn apparently realizes he can't wrestle anymore, and said it would be a "fight," for whatever that means. How he expects to fare better in a slugfest against a steroid freak who outweighs him by 80 pounds than he would in an actual match is beyond me. If Shawn's still quick, though, he could just dance around just beyond arm's reach and wait for HHH to tear another quad.


The live crowd was unhappy with the boring interview ending the show, and to send the fans home happy, WWE set up a brief brawl between HHH and Ric Flair. Flair hit HHH with a chair and put him in the figure-four.


Last night's Raw was in my hometown of Baltimore (which I'm still only about 40 minutes away from), and I ended up not being able to go. I regretted that until I actually sat down and watched the piece of shit that was last night's Raw. I'm no longer sorry I missed my first wrestling show in Baltimore in the last five years.


Even The Announcers Aren't Immune


At Vengeance, Michael Cole and Tazz demanded to be allowed to call half the show. I liked that mini-angle, since it helps emphasize that Raw and Smackdown are two separate products in competition with each other. However, the writers were supposed to write it so that Cole and Tazz didn't seem like whiny bitches. Since they were booed by the crowd when they took over the announce table, this is seen as a failure by the creative team.


In other announcing news, both Jim Ross and his asshole partner are more comfortable sitting at ringside than in the Nitro position they've been in for the past three weeks. Ross tried to spin it as being all good in the Ross Report, of course. Apparently, Vince McMahon made the decision to move the Raw announcers because he believed it would be a popular move with Eric Bischoff.


(Credit: PWTorch newsletter)


Take Cover In The Land Down Under


WWE only goes to Australia once a year, but they sure managed to piss off their fans down there. It seems the Fed advertised Hulk Hogan as appearing on the Australian tour, then decided at the last minute to pull Hogan back. WWE had no comment on this decision, of course. It is also undecided whether HHH will work the Australian shows. He was also advertised, but it still recovering from his latest steroid injury.


See, O Cynical Smarks, Hogan CAN sell tickets. It's just too bad they're all in Australia.


(Credit: 1wrestling.com)


Steady As She Goes


For the second week in a row, Raw earned a 3.7 ratings in the Monday Nielsen polls. Individual hours were 3.4 and 3.9. I'm going to guess the insomnia-curing overrun was somewhere around -6.0, but the Nielsen folks don't have any data to support this.


(Credit: Wrestlingobserver.com, Nielsen Media Research)


We Needed To Blame Someone, And You Had The Shortest Straw


As if we needed any more proof that WWE simply doesn't know what to do with some of its talent, consider this. WWE is considering removing Ric Flair from active competition, but retaining him under contract for promotional work and other appearances. Considering that Flair never wanted to be a full-time wrestler, one could say it's about time WWE considered something like this.


Now the bad news: many people in WWE blame Flair for the failure of the brand extension. WTF? Of all the people they could blame, I really fail to see how Flair could be at fault. It wasn't his decision to make the Austin-Hall match the linchpin for the split, and it wasn't his fault when Austin had the ending of the match changed. When the "brand extension" was announced the next night, there was no logical reason for it, and that got it off to a bad start with the fans.


Personally, I think it's too early to consider the split a failure. In fact, I happen to like it. But maybe if they/d used, oh I don't know, the Flair-Undertaker match to set up split, with interference from Vince, then they wouldn't have been left with a mess. It was their decision to put all their eggs in Austin's basket, then wind up with those eggs on their faces when he threw the basket at them. It sounds like WWE is blaming someone who's not the least bit at fault for their own stupid booking and general myopia.


Why does it seem Flair always get the shaft, wherever he goes?


(Credit: Wrestling Observer newsletter)


Speak Now And Forever Sabotage Your Push


WWE logic really is an oxymoron.


The latest example of this is Matt Hardy's heat with management. Matt is known as someone who gets to the arena early, stays late, watches other matches, and studies tapes. Basically, he does a lot of the things HHH bitched at the Raw roster for not doing. Matt also speaks up at talent meetings, putting over the hard work of the wrestlers and mentioning some problems with the creative side. He has also mentioned that WWE veterans should be pushed over green Tough Enough grads.


Somehow, this has gotten Hardy in hot water. WWE management encourages wrestlers to speak up, but then when one of them does, something like this happens. Matt hadn't been on Raw in about two months before appearing in a tag match with his brother last night. Jeff, incidentally, doesn't speak up at meetings, talks like a heroin fiend, and looks like he hasn't given a shit about the business in months, yet he's the one who'd been getting the push.


Morale is low, as wrestlers realize there are problems, but are afraid to speak up in fear of getting the Matt Hardy treatment. I've given up trying to figure things like this out.


(Credit: PWTorch newsletter)


Then Farwell Heat, And Welcome Frost


What would the news be without a thrilling X-Pac update? Hey, bitch about it, and I'll give you Goldberg news instead. At least pick the less nauseating poison.


Anyway, X-Pac is still under contract to WWE, but his status is majorly up in the air. After passing out at an airport a few weeks ago (the result of pain medication for his latest neck injury), X-Pac has been taken off the road. Reports have circulated that he was asked to take a pay cut, but since he would have to agree to a pay reduction, that obviously hasn't happened. The most likely way out of this is that X-Pac will reach a contract settlement with WWE, and then head to either NWA: TNA or Japan.


Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey . . .


(Credit: PWTorch newsletter)


No, You Get The Godiva Chocolates After You Take The Bumps


Lilian Garcia took a couple of bumps on Raw. It doesn’t seem like such a big deal after a pair of octogenarians let themselves get manhandled by the Island Boys, but this was the first time Garcia had really gotten involved in an angle. A lot of the wrestlers see her as some kind of "super-diva" who thinks she's above the business, and she's not very popular with some of the boys as a result.


On the replays, you could see that the bumps she took were very safe.


By the way, it's true that she's much hotter when you see her live.


(Credit: 1wrestling.com)


So Much For Only Giving Out Two Contracts


The parade of Tough Enough grads under contract to WWE continues to lengthen. Josh Matthews joins castmates Maven, Nidia, and Chris Harvard on the WWE payroll. He will work in development as a wrestler, but has also expressed interest in the production side of the show. Matthews will work with producer Kevin Dunn, and will also train to become an on-air commentator.


Despite being about the size of Spike Dudley, Matthews has not given up his dream to be a wrestler. I'd advise him to learn as much as he can when they're grooming him to be a commentator, though.


(Credit: PWTorch newsletter)


In The Event That I'm Not A Crippled Has-Been . . .


Depending on how Shawn Michaels' crippled old guy vs. crippled steroid freak match with HHH goes at Summerslam, it's possible HBK could wrestle more matches. He won't approach a full-time schedule, instead wrestling only "big event" matches. If he is not happy with the Summerslam match, or finds that he just can't do it physically anymore, Michaels would end his in-ring career.


Either way, WWE is said to have no set match plans for him again until next year's WrestleMania.


Whatever happens, I just don't want to see Michaels tarnish his stellar in-ring legacy. Ignoring the politics and other extracurricular aspects of HBK's career, he was an amazing performer who consistently put on very good matches. I don't know what his "fight" with HHH will do for that legacy, but I'd hate to see him ruin it by going out there and sucking up the joint.


(Credit: 1wrestling.com)


This concludes this week's edition of the Midweek News. I'll be back tomorrow night with Smackdown, and you news junkies out there can get your fix from Byron and The Dames, who will bookend the weekend with their takes on the major happenings in our so-called sport. Over and out.


Dr. Tom

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this