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I love the NFL. Baseball's cool and all (when the players aren't thinking of going on strike while wiping their asses with $100 bills), but you can lose five in a row in baseball and still be OK. Heck, that's less than 3% of the season; over 162 games, a five-game slide can be made up easily. In the NFL, if you lose five in a row, you are FUBAR. Videlicet the St. Louis Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. One of them was expected to suck, the other was expected to be good, but they're both done. They were done two weeks ago. Stick a fork in those teams, and someone hold Mike Martz an extra-large egomaniac's spot in the unemployment line.


Touching on baseball for a minute, allow me to say this to the loyal and passionate Yankees fans who had to see their team lose a tough series to Anaheim: HAHAHAHAHA, MOTHERFUCKERS~! I actually wanted Oakland to win the other series, just so Giambi's former team would do better than the one he chased the money to play for. I won't quibble about Minnesota making it, though, since they were almost contracted by Bud Selig and his posse of idiots.


Picks for the LCS: Minnesota in 7 (don't bet against them when they have home-field), and San Francisco in 6.


Since there are more than a scant few things to talk about in the world of rasslin' this week, let's get on with 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: The Cliff Notes


As always, for your detailed recapping needs, check out the man who sticks with this show thru thick and thin. Raw From JHawk's Beak is up and ready for your perusal. The man's praying for some of the thick as opposed to all that thin, so join him in his vigil.


"Spin the wheel, make a deal" was the theme on Raw last night. I thought that's how they always booked their shows, but at least they had the decency to give us such a sneak peek into the WWE creative process.


Booker vs. Big Slow, Cage Match: At least they allowed escapes thru the door, or else Show would have been screwed. This was pretty lame for a cage match, and entirely because Slow, and his horribly uh… slow offense, was in it. DUD


HHH vs. D'Lo, Blindfold Match: Damn, I wish they would have passed those blindfolds out to the TV audience. I could have used one for about two hours Monday night. HHH wins because of Flair's interference and his own cheating, but the match sucked all kinds of pepperoni pole. DUD


Goldust vs. Regal, Vegas Showgirl Match: Monday Night Football was looking like a REALLY good alternative here. I was flipping over during the commercials, but this almost made me change the channel for good. Regal wins because his bra could only restrain the Power of the Punch for so long. DUD, once more. Hey, three in a row. That's a good way to stack up to Smackdown, guys.


Trish vs. Stacy, Bra & Panties, Paddle on a Pole Match: They both got stripped down to their skivvies, Trish won, and Victoria took it to her afterwards. I'm not sure I should rate this one, but since the show's on such a roll ... DUD. Next.


Test vs. Al Snow, Las Vegas Street Fight: Look, it's NOT a hardcore match. Nope. No siree, no Hardcore on this show, not anymore. No way. Not a chance. At least this was a fairly entertaining brawl, and about 1000 times better than the garbage that went before it. 2/10


Jerry Lawler vs. Steven Richards, Hooker Match: The Godfather and some choice ... er, call girls, came to the ring since "It's legal in Nevada" was the stip. Never mind that he was on Smackdown just a couple short weeks ago. Heck, never mind this match: it's Lawler's one match for the year, and fine-ass pussy was on the line: you tell me who won. DUD


Tag Title Match: Hurri-KANE vs. Dudleys 2.0 vs. Christian/Jericho vs. RVD/Jeff Hardy, TLC: I liked this a lot less than the previous TLC matches. Here's a brief rundown of how it went: Kane kicks everyone's ass, highspot, lie around, highspot, lie around, highspot, lie around, finisher from a ladder, lie around, finisher from a ladder, lie around, Kane kicks everyone's ass. This looked the most choreographed of all the TLC matches, and that definitely took something away from it. Good, but not great. 6/10


Other Developments: It appears Kane is a MURDERER, BAH GAWD. At the end of the show, HHH mentioned someone named "Katie Vick," whom he said Kane murdered a decade ago. The fans in the arena responded with a large round of confused indifference. Staff members for WWE and fans on the 'net have responded in angrier terms. Flat-out, this angle sucks the meat missile. Kane wasn't even in WWE ten years ago, and who knows if the insane asylum, his brother (later half-brother) Undertaker is still related to him (and he's on a different show regardless), and the soon-to-retire Paul Bearer as Kane's father is part of WWE mythos anymore. Considering they can't keep track of who's on what show for two weeks, I wouldn't bet my paycheck on that.


Also notice how Kane destroyed everyone in the TLC match. Thus, when HHH beats him to unify the IC Title with the Big Gold Belt, HHH will have beaten all those people by proxy. Dontcha just love nepotism and power plays?


Overall, I think Raw was a show desperate to try and keep pace with Smackdown, but lesser talent and bad writing conspired to doom it to the same level of suckitude it's been wallowing in for a while. Were I recapping it properly, I'd give it a 2, maybe a 3. The show doesn't inspire me enough to make a decision either way.


Raw Has A Spike, And It’s Not Dudley


Obviously, desperate gimmicks like “spin the wheel, make a deal,” and shows full of crappy wrestling bring in the viewers. Raw’s rating climbed Monday to a 3.8, up from the 3.6 the show had earned the past couple weeks. Individual hours were 3.7 and 3.9, meaning the overrated TLC match was a relative success.


Smackdown’s still the better show.


(Credit: 1wrestling.com, Nielsen Media Research)


Weekend Warriors


Ratings for the weekend shows continued to languish in mediocrity. Velocity and Confidential each scored a 0.7, with Heat being the weekend’s dubious winner at a whopping 0.8.


Confidential has been a very good show of late, with only Smackdown beating it. It’s more interesting than the crappy wrestling and desperate angles on Raw, and it beats both of the B-shows. I’m not a Mean Gene fan, but he’s easy enough to ignore most of the time. If you haven’t given Confidential a look yet, try it.


(Credit: 1wrestling.com, Nielsen Media Research)


The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves


Backstage at Raw Monday night, WWE management was preaching the gospel of change to the workers.


--- Vince McMahon is said to be very high on soap-opera storylines, so the wrestlers were told to expect more of them. As long as they’re not as mind-numbingly stupid as the Kane murderer angle, I can live with it.


--- WWE knows that Smackdown has gotten over more since the split (due to the importance of (gasp!) ACTUAL FUCKING WRESTLING being the focus of the show, go figure …), so they’ve tried to import that magic to Raw by making a couple of agent moves. Michael Hayes, who put together some of the better matches on Smackdown recently, has been moved to Raw, while Bruce Prichard has been sent to Smackdown.


This is an interesting contradiction. Hayes is being moved to Raw in the hopes that he’ll help the Raw writers focus more on what goes on in the ring than outside it. However, Vince has said to expect more soap-opera crap. Even when WWE decides to strike out in a direction for change, they have to try and walk two paths at once. Smackdown is helped by its focus on wrestling, yes, but it also has the more athletic roster. Personally, I don’t expect Raw to change much: Vince’s love of soap-opera shit (and his daughter’s fondness for hiring writers familiar with it) will override any positive contributions Hayes might make on the wrestling side.


If you’re interested in my ideas for improving Raw, take a look at this.


(Credit: The 1bob gang again)


The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves, Part Deux


Reports are circulating that midcard and lower-card wrestlers are upset at the way they are being handled. They feel Vince McMahon has given too much power to HHH and Undertaker (duh), and the running joke among the angry wrestlers is how much airtime those two get on their respective shows. Taker apparently gave a HHH-like speech a while ago, and those incidents have cost the pair a lot of respect in the locker room among the lower-card talent.


Does this mean we can finally stop hearing that Taker is a “locker room leader?” I think I’m more positive on him than many of my compatriots in the IWC, but I’m getting sick of hearing that talk in light of the past couple months’ events.


(Credit: PWTorch.com Newsletter)


The Money Train Done Left The Station Already


Finally, a decision has been rendered that hasn’t rewarded someone for doing nothing. Nicole Bass lost her lawsuit against WWE and Steve Lombardi (Brooklyn Brawler). Here is a brief press release from WWE.com:


A U.S. Federal District Court jury in the Nicole Bass sexual harassment lawsuit unanimously exonerated WWE and defendant Steve Lombardi of any wrongdoing. The sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Ms. Bass had no factual foundation and the jury, in its decision, saw that clearly. This was nothing but an attempt to smear WWE's good name in an attempt to make an easy dollar. WWE views today's verdict as vindication of our corporate name and reputation.


Now, if fat fucks would stop suing McDonald’s over their obesity, and blame-shifting smokers would stop getting billions from the tobacco industry, I might actually get some faith back in the American legal system.


(Credit: Everybody ran this one)


Lookee Dat, Clem, Them Boys Is Wearin’ Dresses!


In one of the more amusing stories I’ve seen recently, Raw was blacked out in Southern Louisiana Monday night. A lot of people called their cable company (Spillway Cable) and complained about the content of the show. Spillway said the calls were “moral complaints,” but did not elaborate further.


The vast tolerance of the South strikes again. I can only imagine the complaints that would have flooded in had Booker T been in a showgirl outfit. RACISM~!


(Credit: 411wrestling.com)


Judge Judy Must Have Had A Full Docket


Cripes, I’m getting a lot from 1bob today.


Missy Hyatt and Bill Alfonso will take an ongoing case to the airwaves, to be decided on an upcoming episode of Judge Mathis.


The case originated when Alfonso borrowed Hyatt’s Porsche and got into an accident. He claimed he didn’t have the money to pay for the damages. This is obviously a few years old, since I’m sure the Vixxxens site doesn’t pay enough for Hyatt to be tooling around in a new Porsche.


The show will be taped today in Chicago, and both Hyatt and Alfonso have been flown there. In addition, they both receive an appearance fee of $100, standard for all litigants on the show. The main advantage for Alfonso is that Judge Mathis pays the losers’ fees, so even if he loses, he doesn’t have to pay a dime.


The moral: if someone sues you, make sure they’re desperate for publicity.


(Credit: [sigh] 1wrestling.com)


Quick Hits, Notes, and Sundry Asides


--- Paul Bearer is hanging it up after a dozen years with WWE. Though he hasn’t been on TV in a while, Bearer has been active backstage and has had a weekly column on WWE.com. He’s alluded to leaving the business for a while now, and if you want to read his farewell address, you can find it here.


--- Bubba Ray Dudley suffered a concussion in the TLC match Monday night. He had a CT scan, and the results were fine. WWE has pulled him from house shows until he’d medically cleared to return. No one else in the match suffered any notable injuries.


--- In a one-night only deal, the team of Edge and Christian will reunite for a house show in Calgary on October 13th. They will take on the Guerreros in what should be a good match.


--- Coinciding with the run of good Smackdown shows (and some excellent matches), the workers are said to have a lot of pride in the brand right now. I guess that means morale on Raw must blow harder than a two-dollar whore, but draw your own conclusions.


--- Bob Holly is taking some extra time to get over an injury. After getting dropped on his head by Brock Lesnar in a botched powerbomb, Holly was momentarily knocked out. He later started developing signs of post-concussion syndrome, and has recently had pains in his neck. The concern is that Holly is suffering from neurological problems. Obviously, he needs to avoid wrestling anyone with a strong amateur background in the future.


(Credits: Wrestlingobserver.com, PWTorch.com, PWTorch.com newsletter)

That brings another edition of the Midweek News to a close. I'll be back tomorrow night with the goods on Smackdown, and the news junkies among you can get your news fix from Byron this weekend. Over and out.


Dr. Tom

Talk back at me here!

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