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The Midweek News

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You gotta love California: you can't smoke in their bars, but damn if they don't have some good baseball teams. The Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants made it to the World Series in a season highlighted by the Oakland A's improbable 20-game winning streak. Both teams are obviously very good, and interestingly enough, they're both wild-card teams. I'm probably in the minority here, but I like Barry Bonds (I've always liked the outspoken, "controversial" athletes, a la Charles Barkley) and I think it'd be cool if he got a ring. Unfortunately for Barry and his teammates, though, I don't think this is their year: Angels in the full seven.


The sniper in the DC area is still loose. Despite what a few naysayers would like you to believe, this is not the time to lose faith in the government or law enforcement. There are an awful lot of white vans on the road – both for personal and business use – and all the killings have happened on or near major roads. When you drive a common vehicle and you're a stone's throw from the interstate, it's not difficult to get away. He will be caught, though, and I hope whoever catches him just shoots him. It's not like the guy isn't armed and dangerous and wouldn't draw down on the cops. Shoot him, shoot him, and shoot him some more, until he lacks enough muscle mass to twitch and his own mother has to squint to recognize him. I would vomit if I knew our tax dollars were going toward a trial and three squares a day for this subhuman fuckhead.


Welcome back to the best damn news column on the whole wide internet, ladies and germs. I'm your tour guide, Dr. Tom, and while I'm still talking about non-rasslin' stuff (hey, this is my weekly soapbox since I kicked my own site to the curb), what a weekend in the NFL. The Vikings and Rams each won their first games, though at least the Rams had the decency to do it against a major-league team. That leaves only the Bungles among the crop of winless teams. Might as well try and determine when they're going to win one, if at all. Looking at their schedule, their best chance for a win comes November 3rd, when they take on the expansion Houston Texans. The problem is, the Texans are a well-managed team, while the Bungles are the very definition of piss-poor franchise management. When will Cincinnati win a game this year? Will they win a game this year? Let me know your thoughts, and if they win, we'll see who was right. (Remember to remove the leading X from each field.)


Since this is ostensibly a wrestling news column, I guess it's about time we got on with that, no? So without further ado, 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: The Cliff Notes


Ah, nothing like starting the column proper off with a huge depressant. This is something like a band opening a concert with a song to hang yourself by, I imagine, but I think we should just get it out of the way. Monday's Raw was quite possibly the worst two hours of television I've ever had to endure in my life. Thankfully, I watched Monday Night Football and taped Raw, but now I've gone and ruined a perfectly good tape by recording such an execrable show on it. To take precautions, I burned the tape after watching it, lest the immense amount of suck recorded on it infest the rest of my library by osmosis.


As always, our boy JHawk has the full report available. How he sticks with such an unrelentingly shitty show every week is beyond me. If I weren't an atheist, I'd wish him blessings, but since I am, I'll just say that I hope the forces of evil become confused on the way to his house. As long as the WWE writing team is leading the procession, I have no doubts that would happen.


-- Hurri-Kane vs. Christian/Jericho: Well, now Kane has no backup belt heading into the PPV. Shane Helms' jump to Raw now seems even more pointless than it did at first. This wasn't a bad match, but it wasn't that exciting, either. 3/10


-- Snow vs. Storm: Yawn. Thoroughly bland and boring match from two guys who should be capable of entertaining me. Storm wins with the superkick, as if anyone cares at this point. 1/10


-- Jeff Hardy vs. Rico: The jokes we could make here ... The match itself was unintentionally funny enough, though, with the bored crowd shouting "TWO!" at every predictable "near-fall." Jeff wins with the Swanton, and I'm sure you call care just as much as I do. 1/10


-- Molly/Victoria vs. Trish/Jackie: For four girls who can actually wrestle, this was a sloppy match. Stacy was your special ref, and for some reason, Jackie got the pin on Molly, despite Trish and Victoria having the heat. Whatever. DUD


-- Harvard vs. Dreamer: The yawners continue. The best thing to come out of this is the Nowinski-Snow feud that's on the horizon, but it's not like I should expect them to get it right. The Tough Enough grad wins a sloppy affair. 1/10


-- Booker vs. Big Slow: Look, another non-Hardcore match on Raw, cleverly disguised as an innocent Falls Count Anywhere match. Plunder gets involved, Jericho interferes (since Booker's supposed to be working a program with him, not the fat tub of shit, but Jericho's suddenly a tag team champ, and my head hurts), and Booker gets laid out in the women's locker room. Yes, I said laid OUT. DUD


-- HHH vs. RVD, Lumberjack match: HHH locked all the babyface lumberjacks in the locker room with a forklift during the previous match. HHH wins due to Flair's interference after the face lumberjacks storm the ring. Hey Rob, that flushing sound you heard was your main event dream swirling around the bowl. Another boring match. 2/10


Other Developments: Randy Orton continued to try and be Rocky Maivia 2.0. I wish him luck, but I don't see it working for him. The Intercontinental Title was given a send-off last night, and WWE celebrated by having the Island Boys injure Pat Patterson. I'd hate to be invited to their Xmas party and be seen double-dipping a tortilla. Victoria accused Trish of sleeping her way into the then-WWF when they were both fitness models. And in the big story, Kane came clean about the Katie Vick thing. It turns out they were friends ten years ago, and he drove her home one night – despite not knowing how to drive a stick – but got into a car accident and she died. As if that weren't bad enough soap opera crap, HHH came out to say that Kane had been drinking, and that his MAN JUICE~! had been found in the body of Katie Vick after the autopsy. But did Kane slip her the baloney pony before or after she died? Once again, the third H obviously stands for Holmes. This entire angle is the worst kind of shit. So Kane is either a rapist or a necrophiliac? Gee, what an option. Either he violates drunk women while they're still alive, or he sticks his dick in their dead bodies after they've been mangled in car wreck. Yeah, that'll build sympathy for him. (Aside: I forget the comedian's name, but he was talking about animal necrophilia, and what kind of defense someone might use against that crime in court. To quote: "How do you defend yourself against something like that? 'I didn't know the dog was dead when I was fucking it, Your Honor?' Really, what do you say? 'I would never fuck a dead dog, that's sick!'" Just felt like throwing that out there to break up this discussion of abysmal storytelling. End aside.) So this happened ten years ago, while Kane was supposedly still in a mental institution, and five years before the character debuted in WWE. Not only that, but we're supposed to believe someone would date a disfigured, freakish burn victim. Not only that, but Kane somehow got it on with Katie, despite Tori supposedly popping his cherry back in 1999. Not only that, but Kane supposedly told Katie's parents how sorry he was, despite the fact he didn't learn to speak until 1999. I mean, you can drive fucking BUSES thru these logic holes. Is Kane still the half-brother of the Undertaker, with all the fire and brimstone backstory and everything? WWE needs to decide on something like that, because this shitty angle is going to drive their real fans away. Even the people who like soap opera elements have to find this story obscene and disgusting. Hell, I don't think Jerry Springer would go near it, but Uncle Vince will be glad to peddle these twisted wares for your viewing pleasure. No wonder I burned my tape.


Obviously, Nielsen Boxes Are Available To Morons


Somehow, Raw's rating went up again. Monday night's abortion actually pulled in a 3.9, up a tenth of a point from last week's 3.8. Despite competition from Monday Night Football and the baseball playoffs that was expected to sink the rating, Raw came out looking good with the Nielsens, despite a horrible show with dreadful storylines. Now, at least, we've learned something: morons are drawn to shitty soap opera. It's something we probably already knew, but this is a good way to hammer that lesson home.


The weekend B-shows all pulled in 0.8 ratings.


(Credit: Wrestlingobserver.com, Nielsen Media Research)


Patterson And Billy Gunn Injured, But Not Together


Both Pat Patterson and Billy Gunn were on their way to see Dr. James Andrews. Gunn suffered a shoulder separation during a match over the weekend. Patterson sustained a similar injury when attacked by the Island Boys during Monday night's farewell to the Intercontinental Title.


I wonder if JR will monitor Patterson's progress in the Ross Report. I can see it now: "Pat Patterson continues to rehab his separated shoulder. His injury came at an unfortunate time, as this amazing talent was really starting to show his stuff as a road agent, booker, and cross-dresser. Patterson, though, is a BUBBA TOUGH HOSS BAH GAWD, so we expect him to make a swift recovery. Upon his return, he will be sent to OVW to work on his weight issues, and there he can fade into obscurity and never be heard from again."


Watch for it, I'm tellin' ya.


(Credit: Wrestlingobserver.com)


Greed Is Good. Greed Works


Well, sometimes.


WWE stock has plummeted to its lowest value ever. It was down 23 cents Monday, falling to $7.14. This is not due to the lousy Monday programming (how many people who cheer for awful soap opera would also have a portfolio?), but WWE's recent admissions of financial losses. They announced a $3 million loss for the second quarter, which had a predictable effect on investor morale. Which seems to mirror talent morale, now that I think of it.


This is the problem that arises when you take a family business in a niche market and take it public: you end up expanding into things you shouldn't be involved in, and you're suddenly accountable to a bunch of bean counters on Wall Street who wouldn't know HHH from XXX.


I think I remember reading that Vince was a billionaire as long as the stock price was around $16 per share. If that's still true, he's half the man he used to be when it comes to the size of his money clip.


(Credit: 1wrestling.com)


Let's See The Rattlesnake Slither Out Of This One


There's an interesting rumor circulating about the Steve Austin walkout. We all know he was supposed to job to Brock Lesnar on Raw, and was ostensibly so upset at the idea that he packed his bags and went home. Maybe there was more to it than that, though. Austin apparently had concerns that Lesnar wasn't going to cooperate with him in the ring, making him look bad and possibly even shooting on him. How Austin learned this isn't known, but it was presumable locker room gossip. This was believed to be management's payback to Austin for his walkout after WrestleMania.


It's certainly an interesting story if it's true. We need only look at Bob Holly and the neck fusion surgery he just had for an example of what can happen when Lesnar shoots on someone. It definitely gives Austin another, maybe more credible, reason for walking out like he did, though it rather blows the tough Rattlesnake image out of the water. Of course, beating his wife already destroyed his reputation as a tough guy and as a man in general, but at least it appears Steve Williams is consistent with his cowardice.


(Credit: PWTorch.com Newsletter)


As If Their Little Promotion Needed Anymore Redneck Connections


They already use country stars and NASCAR drivers during their shows, so it stands to reason that NWA: TNA would be in financial bed with rednecks, too. Hoo-wee, Clem, it seems them thar Jarrett boys done run out of money a while back, yessiree. Seems they was believing more people was buying their shows than actually was! Tickle my hogs and call me Jed, ain't that a hoot! (Ahem.) Anyway, when another potential investor turned out, the Jarretts scrambled to find someone, and did. Apparently, their new partner is affiliated with country star Sawyer Brown, and will handle the marketing end of the promotion, while the Jarretts concentrate on the wrestling.


This might have added a month or two to TNA's life expectancy, but once the promotion starts bleeding money again, they'll be back on life support. I'm calling the first quarter of next year.


(Credit: PWTorch.com Newsletter)


Quick Hits, Notes, And Sundry Asides


-- David Flair was released from his WWE developmental contract. Reports are that management felt the next Greg Gagne wasn’t making enough progress to keep him around. He also had heat with Test over Stacy Keibler, since Flair was her paramour before Test. That did not factor into the decision to release Flair, though.


-- Most of the observers backstage at Raw Monday felt the Kane murderer/rapist/necrophiliac angle was terrible. Until Vince McMahon and the brain-dead writing team do, though, it’s unlikely to change. Maybe the opinions of the workers and staff actually count for something in WWE. We can only hope.


-- Speaking of the Raw workers, Vince’s meeting/massive bitch session with them was postponed a week. So next week you’ll hear the giant sucking sound of WWE Raw morale going firmly down the shitter. Right now, it’s surviving on a drain clog, but if anyone can bring a bottle of Drano to a situation like that, it’s Vince.


-- In late Nielsen news, the Raw rating was corrected down to a 3.8 instead of the 3.9 that was first reported. This means the ratings did not change from last week. It’s a shame that wrestling fans aren’t smart enough to change the channel in droves when presented with wretchedly shitty TV, but at least more of them didn’t get suckered into the fold this week.


-- For the seven of you who care, NWA: TNA is putting on a show tonight, and has a preview at their website. Ron Killings takes on Curt Hennig, Syxx (X-) Pac defends the X Division belt against AJ Styles, and NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler disgraces his “sport” even more by getting into a bush-league wrestling ring. When Russo is involved, good times will be had by all.


-- Lennox Lewis and WWE have had talks about bringing the boxing champ in for some kind of limited role. Lewis did mention a guest referee spot. Who said old angles are dead? Just like Tyson hung with DX, Lewis can hang with ... um ... er, no one. Never mind. He's like Tyson without the personality, though, so don't get your hopes up.


-- The ad for WWE's Anthology disc, which led some fans to believe Bret Hart had returned, has caused some anger at WWE from those fans. It looks like a case of people wanting to find meaning where there is none, but I wouldn't put it past Vince to run something like that specifically for Montreal.


-- Stephanie McMahon is scheduled to be on the Howard Stern show tomorrow morning around 8:30 AM. I wonder if Stern will treat her the way he normally treats his female guests ...


(Sources: Torch, Observer, and 1bob)

That's all for this week's edition of The Midweek News. I'll return to grace this fine website tomorrow with Smackdown, and the news junkies above you can look for Byron, your weekend dealer, sometime Sunday or Monday. Until then, remember: it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Then it's just fun.


Dr. Tom

Send me mail or I will be forced to torture small animals.

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