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The Week in Review - August 4th, 2002

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Guest TSMAdmin

The Week In Review


Welcome back, Smart Marks to the Week In Review, by yours truly: The Dames.


I must apologize sincerely for not providing you with a WIR for last week, for I missed my train last week and was stuck out of town for a few days. Seems like I’ve been going away a LOT these days. To compensate however....I’m not doing the top 5 again this week. I’m doing the TOP TEN~! No more wasted time, biatches!


10. Who beat up Shawn Michaels? After Watching “Wrestling With Shadows”, check Canada for your perp!


On last Monday’s Raw, Shawn Michaels interrupted a promo by the Un-Americans (ugh) and called out HHH for assaulting him last week and nailing him with the softest Pedigree ever. For the rest of the night, HBK searched the arena for HHH, but instead ran into two guys who he had issues with in the NWO, namely Booker T and the Big Show. He went into the parking lot to wait for HHH.


During an HHH interview-ah, as he was calling out HBK for trying to steal HHH’s spotlight (no comment), a stagehand whispered something into Hunter’s ear and HHH ran to the parking lot. He found a bloody, “unconscious” HBK next to a car, which had a head-sized whole in its driver’s side window. Now, with a list of suspects, the question is now “Who beat up HBK?”. Considering WWE’s history with “Whodunit” angles, it could be either a total shocker, or a total disappointment. The prime suspects here are: The Un-Americans, as they said they had one last piece of business to conduct, yet we never saw them again. If they are the perps, it would give those guys a great main event rub, however, it will probably just end up with an HHH feud, killing all of their heat. HHH is a prime suspect as well, because he could easily reestablish himself as the Cerebral Assassin like he did as the mastermind behind Stone Cold’s Hit and Run. That would most likely result in a match with HBK himself, which has been rumored for quite some time, however, HBK has been having second thoughts about climbing back into the ring. It’s the explanation that makes the most sense, as he WAS calling HBK out when it happened. The Big Show was nearest to the scene of the crime and also stated that HBK will notice him soon....however, that will result in a Big Show – HHH match, which on one really wants to see. All in all, its another WWE “Whodunit” angle, and when we will find out...only one thing is clear: It’ll happen either before or AT SummerSlam.


9. NWA:TNA’s Buyrates are Better than Reported....after being reported that they weren’t better then initially reported...Get it?


Prior to NWA: TNA starting, owner Jerry Jarrett claimed that the buyrates for each show needed to be around 50,000 buys in order to be considered a success. Two weeks ago, the initial buyrates supposedly came in and they were astounding! It seemed as if the company was doing three times the rate that they needed to stay afloat! Everything was good in the world. Then...


Turns out it was all a lie. Jay Hassman, NWA:TNA’s PPV consultant, was fired last week after it was discovered that he was also working for a team that promoted WWE, you know, that OTHER wrestling company. With the conflict of interest, it seems that Mr. Hassman not only lied about the buyrates, which were then stated to be in the 15,000 – 20, 000 range, meaning the company was losing money, but he also lied about the clearances that they had in the PPV Universe! Jerry Jarrett filed a lawsuit against Mr. Hassman immediately and began cutting costs for the product.


Then this week, its now being reported that the buyrates were actually better than reported the second time around, with DirecTV buyrates increasing 24%. That’s great news for the promotion, although it doesn’t get them out of hot water just yet. Looks like they are still taking a loss, just not as bad an originally thought. Hopefully, we’ll find out more about this story as the final numbers come in.


8. WWE Films present....Halloween 9: If You Smell What Michael Myers is Cooking, Starring Kane.


I’m really surprised it took this long. Vince McMahon has already promoted boxing, weightlifting and football, and each time, the venture failed miserably. However, after the success of The Rock and The Scorpion King (which McMahon received an Executive Producer credit for), looks like Vince wants to get into the movie business himself.


According to Variety magazine, the new venture will be headed up by Joel Simon, who has produced movies which have had great opening weekends, X-Men and Wild Wild West. Along with WWE, they’ll be casting wrestlers in prominent roles in films and marketing them towards YOU, the wrestling fan.


Vince, have you taken a GOOD look at your roster’s mic skills? Imagine Matt and Jeff Hardy acting in some teen movie (cuz you know that’s what they’ll probably end up getting). I shudder to think of the bad dialogue and delivery. Outside of The Rock, and maybe....MAYBE Triple H as some sort of action star, I really can’t see anyone making any type of splash in Hollywood. This has WBF and XFL written ALL over it. Vince, your product needs attention NOW...concentrate on THAT before you do anything else.


7. Smackdown does a 3.1 rating. What’s that I hear? “Goldberg.....Goldberg....”


Just when you think the Smackdown ratings can’t get any worse, they do. Last week, they went from a dismal 3.3 to a pathetic 3.1. I’m sure WWE management are just as baffled as I am as to why the ratings have been so down lately, especially when the product has improved by leaps and bounds in the past few weeks. Although Smackdown was the more loaded show during the initial split, their ratings have been steadily decreasing since it occurred.


What scares me about this is what Vince’s reaction may be. Instead of concentrating on tight storylines, which they are doing better at in the current moment, he may try on bringing in another “surefire” solution, like Goldberg. In my opinion, one of the things that is really hurting Smackdown is the fact that it isn’t live. Although the net is only about 10 or 15% of your fanbase, (the percentage of which is growing since the casual fans are leaving as well), most of them read the Smackdown Spoilers and don’t tune in if they don’t like what they read. I’d say, try going live for a month, see if the ratings increase....if not, go back to the tapings. Another possible reasoning for the low ratings is the fact that it IS summertime, and TV ratings are lower in general during this time of the year. Imagine how Vince will feel going up head to head with Friends and Survivor and getting ratings in the 2’s. If that happens, I’m sure the split will be over pretty soon.


Speaking of the split...


6. Raw....is....Canadian.


On Monday night, Lance Storm & Christian, the WWE Tag Team champions defected to Raw, along with their stablemate, Test. Chris Jericho also debuted on the show, seemingly in a feud with Flair. Getting massive heat on Raw and possibly being involved in the aforementioned Shawn Michaels angle, the Un-Americans might actually *gasp* get over!


The real newsworthy item about this, however, is that now the WWE Tag Team titles are on Raw, with the Hardys and the new Island Boyz teams on Raw as well. I’m not sure if that will spark up the division, but it wasn’t just dying a slow death on Smackdown, it’s been decomposing so it MUST be better. Rikishi and Rico are former tag team champs....think about that one. Why can’t they just make these titles floaters, like the World title? Doesn’t that make sense to ANYONE in WWE Creative?


5. IC title goes to SD, after Euro title killed. News at 11.


Just one week after the European title was unified with the IC title (which I thought was a mistake to do to begin with), the IC title and division is now exclusive to Smackdown after Benoit defeated Rob Van Dam on Raw. The IC champion, Chris Benoit and his buddy, Eddie Guerrero defected on Thursday, defeating Edge and The Rock, when Rock tapped CLEAN to the Crippler Crossface. Well, that’s one way of strengthening the title.

In my opinion, if they knew they were going to do this, they shouldn’t have killed the European title. Sure, the Euro title had no credibility and has exchanged hands by just taking out of someone’s bag before, but it could have served a purpose. Had the left the Euro title on Raw, and had the IC title on SD then each show would have a singles division that wasn’t defined by style of wrestling, such as the HC title or CW title. So, now Raw has the Hardcore title and the Tag Team Titles. If you’re a singles competitor such as Test, for example, and the Hardcore title is a step down, yet you don’t have or want a tag partner....what else is left for you to do? My feelings towards the split are reaching negative levels now...


4. WWE is going to MAKE YOU TAP~!


According to the PW Torch, "WWE is looking to adjust its product to promote a new, fresh style that wouldn’t seem as stale. With the proliferation and success of MMA and mixed MMA/wrestling promotions in Japan, WWE is trying to make their in-ring action seem more realistic. WWE agents, who are largely responsible for laying out matches, have been instructing wrestlers to use more submission holds to get them over with WWE crowds”


This is great, in my opinion. I’ve always been a fan of great submission wrestlers, which has since disappeared in the past 5 years or so. Lord knows that certain moves such as The Walls of Jericho and the Ankle Lock lack credibility with everyone getting out of them these days. Not since Lance Storm’s half crab in WCW has a submission finisher been over with a crowd. This should also lead to a greater amount of psychology being applied to most wrestling matches, which has been improving as of late. The Rock tapping to Chris Benoit on Smackdown is a clear cut example of the benefits of WWE adjusting to a submission style. It makes Benoit look good and credible, along with the Crossface, while Rock doesn’t lose much popularity because he can regain his heat quicker than anyone in the business on the mic.


Oh, I’m about to tap to Cablevision in a second!



3. NWA:TNA....get Cablevision, TVN Clearance to air nationally.




Oh, it’s about damn time. Well, sort of. Jay Hassman, the PPV consultant for NWA:TNA had told them that they had clearance all across the country. I could have told Jerry Jarrett that was a lie! Cablevision, the company that runs in the Bronx and other areas in the Northeast haven’t been carrying NWA:TNA since it’s started. That comes as no surprise though, we get no Yankees, go figure.


Only a few days after Hassman was fired, word has come out that Cablevision/TVN have agreed to start airing NWA:TNA weekly, starting on October 2nd. Man, that’s far away. Hopefully, the company will be able to last til then because this means I’ll be able to do my reviews weekly, guaranteed and I’ll get to see Mike F’n SANDERS on my TV once again.


Oh yeah, and NWA:TNA will probably get a ton more PPV buys.


This is great news for the promotion as many fans in the Cablevision cloud have been clamoring for the product and nothing but good can come out of this. Now.....lets hear it for a NWA:TNA TV show!



2. The Messiah attacked at home, thumb cut off! No witty title needed for that!


I’m not going to lie, I’ve never watched any XPW. No tapes, no DVD’s, no TV, nothing. I keep hearing that I’m not missing much, so I don’t really care. After Rob Black’s antics such as faking a stroke, trying to feed a puppy to a snake and publicly insulting Jay Bower for calling him on it, I’ve never had any real desire to watch his product either. There was one person that I did hear a lot about though....The Messiah.


After a bitter dispute with Rob Black (and that’s putting it as lightly as possible, Messiah slept with Black’s porn-star wife), Messiah has since joined the UltraViolent CZW promotion, based out of Delaware. Last night, two assailants broke into his home and brutally attacked him, stabbing him and cutting off one of his thumbs! Just thinking about the amount of pain he would have been in makes me wince. It’s also been rumored that they tried to cut off his penis....that’s just disgusting.


Everyone’s first reaction to this story is “Rob Black sent some people to do it”, which isn’t fair to say, although the motive is crystal clear. Then again, Rob Black should never be given the benefit of the doubt. All I have to say about it is that if Rob Black really is behind all of this, it wouldn’t surprise me.


1. Bret Hart expected to make FULL recovery!!!


This is the top news item of the week for me for two reasons....one, I’m a big Bret Hart fan and he’s a well-known name in the wrestling industry. Two, I’d rather concentrate on something positive instead of the number two story this week.


Bret “The Hitman” Hart, who has been hospitalized for about a month, has been released from the hospital after suffering a stroke which left the left side of his body partially paralyzed. A statement issued by the ill-fated Hart family states that Bret has regained strength and mobility in the left side of his body. He is expected to make a full recovery in about a year from now.


This comes as great news to me, as I’ve already stated, I’m a HUGE Bret Hart fan. Although his days of wrestling were cut short, I’d still love to see him back in any wrestling organization one day.


Last night on Confidential, WWE aired its piece on the fall of WCW during its Confidential program. What started out as an informative, interesting piece on the mismanagement of WCW then turned into a “piss on Bret Hart” show, claiming that he was a big part of why WCW fell. Hogan, who I already hate with a passion, really enamored himself to me last night making hypocritical statements on Bret’s salary and the mismanagement of WCW, which was a huge part of, yet was never mentioned last night. I just thought that was a classless move on WWE’s part, to shit all over Bret Hart while he’s recovering from a stroke that he had from complications of his concussion caused by the mismanagement of WCW.


Wow.....I’m tired.


Top Ten takes a lot of work to do....but I do it for you, my loyal 10 fans out there. Hey Hardware, EQ, Suazo, Phatness, Polick, Riz, Helmet, Brain, Black Rob, and Jay Bower. If you’re not on this list, e-mail me and tell me why you liked my articles so much.....or why you don’t.


The Dames, Damian Gonzalez


Dr. Tom will be hitting you guys up with the midweek news, Byron on Friday...and I'll be back on later this week with My TOP 5 TV Shows on DVD that I recommend for purchase!

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