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The Midweek News

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What have I been saying all along? Hand the ball to Marshall Faulk and good things will happen. He's rushed for about a million yards the past two weeks, as the Rams have rediscovered both the end zone and their winning ways, both seemingly long forgotten in the 0-5 doldrums. This team still has tremendous offensive talent, including the man who has reminded everyone that he is indeed the best running back in the NFL, and not even a Priest could say otherwise. It's too late for the Rams to charge into the playoffs, but they could do like the Redskins last year and salvage a .500 season. And if they do, it'll be thanks to MARSHALL MARSHALL MARSHALL~!


Don't I always lead off with football? That would be because I fucking LOVE football, though I continue to believe the NFL is governed by retarded pod people from the planet Cretin. Do you know what clinched my love of football? Fifteen of us are watching the second game of the World Series Sunday night. It's in the late innings, and the game has been close and pretty high-scoring throughout. Two men are on base, and the crowd is going crazy.


We realized that's as exciting as baseball gets. One guy standing on a hill with a ball in his hand, another guy standing twenty yards away with a stick in his. Baseball is all about standing still until the guy at the plate does the hardest thing to do in modern sports: put a baseball in play. Football is all about motion and impact, speed and power, grace and brutality. It is the opera of male aggression, acted out on fields across the country every weekend. THAT is why it's better than baseball.


In case you were still wondering amidst all this sports talk, I'm still Dr. Tom, and this is still the best damn rasslin' column on the whole wide internet. You'll forgive the sports bent right now, though, as Raw Monday night has me feeling extremely negative toward wrestling right now. I don't want to write about it at all, save to slag it and the miserable shitheads who churned out Monday's excuse for a show. However, duty calls, so I'll give you some news, mixed in with sports stuff and me ranting about how shitty Raw was. Don't worry, it'll be a wild ride.


Back to baseball for a moment: this is shaping up to be a pretty good World Series. I'm questioning the wisdom of the Angels' desire to pitch to Barry Bonds, though. Three games, three homers, including one that has taken up orbit somewhere over North Dakota. Sure, the Angels are up two games to one, but challenging the game's best hitter is downright dangerous, and we've all heard the anecdote about playing with fire. Bonds is able to key in on good pitches because he sees so few of them. When a body walks 198 times during the regular season, and sees a steady diet of junk in many of his other at-bats, he learns to pound the ones that linger over the plate. Anaheim pitches to him at the peril of their narrow lead. I stand by my pick of Angels in seven, but if they keep "challenging" Bonds with fastballs in the strike zone, it will be a very interesting seven games.


We might as well start the rasslin' discussion with something that was at least a little positive: No Mercy. As he does for all WWE PPVs, The Dames has his Diatribe ready to go for this one. Remember, kids: paying $35 to watch something you can read about on the internet for free is stupid. Don't be stupid I won't even mention downloading the damn PPV, since I'm sure the industrious types among you already have that covered.


Before we get in any more trouble for encouraging people to download PPV events ...


No Mercy Cliff Notes


Heat Match: Steven Richards vs. The Hurricane. They only got three minutes, but it was still a decent match. And Helms finished it with the VERTEBREAKER~! a move not seen since his days in WCW. Don't look for it again anytime soon, though. *


Jericho/Christian vs. BookDust. They're the "World Tag Team Titles now." Because, you know, calling them the Raw and Smackdown titles would have allowed the fans to actually fucking tell them apart, and we can't have that. The rope snapped on a Lionsault attempt, but these guys were veteran enough to ignore it and get on with the match. Jericho got the duke with a moonsault. Not a bad opener. **


Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson. And here is the argument for T&A and eye candy. I swear, every step girls like Trish, Molly, Victoria, and Jazz make in the ring, matches like this make them take three steps back. Hmm, three's a good number. - ***


RVD vs. Ric Flair. Chop, chop, figure four. Lather, rinse, repeat. That's all we get out of Flair matches these days, and I think it's past time for him to hang it up. Factor in Rob's spotty selling, and this was just a mess from the word go. *


Tajiri vs. Jamie Noble. Well, that sure was a quick face turn for Tajiri, after the beatdown of last Thursday. I liked this match, even to the point that I'm willing to forgive the less than stellar ending. Noble retains with help from his woman. ***


HHH vs. Kane. Let's see, Flair interference, a beltshot, a lowblow, a sledgehammer, and three ref bumps won't put Kane down, but the power of the PEDIGREE BAH GAWD is enough to seal the deal? Whatfuckingever. It's so obvious that Raw exists just to jerk HHH off, and this match was proof of it carrying over to the PPV. 1/2*


Benoit/Angle vs. Edge/Rey-Rey. This is for the WWE Tag Team Titles, so clearly different from the World Tag Team Titles four different gentlemen scuffled over earlier. This is easily the WWE Match Of The Year so far, and anything in the next two months will be hard-pressed to top it. Everyone was in top form, Team God especially so, and the result was an amazing match for 22 minutes. Team God gets the belts, in a match that was very close to being perfect. ****3/4


Trish vs. Victoria. When you need a crowd brought down after a barn-burner like the last match, send in the chicks. This wasn't a bad match, but it's obvious they're just keeping the whole division lukewarm until Jazz comes back. Trish retains, which doesn't really make a lot of sense. *


Hell in a Cell: Brock vs. Taker. God-DAMN that was a primo and gory bladejob Taker did. The only thing that stopped him from bleeding all over the crowd like Muta did was the fact that they were in a cage. I have to give him the full 1.0 Muta on that one. The match was pretty good, though Taker using his "broken" had so much was fairly annoying by the end of it. Brock retains, and Taker puts him over clean, a month after everyone said he should have. With this as the result, I don't mind last month's clusterfuck quite so much anymore. ***1/4


In toto, No Mercy was better than I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting very much. The Smackdown tag match was pure goddamn gold, I liked Brock-Taker as a bloodbath, and the cruiserweight match was good, but the rest of the show was completely forgettable. And I'm sure the writers will forget about it in a couple weeks, since they can't seem to keep the storylines consistent for a more than fortnight. I'd give No Mercy a 6/10 on the strength of the three matches I liked, which is giving it the benefit of the doubt on the rest of the crap. Still a decent show, though definitely unspectacular.


I Got Mail! I Got Mail! I Got Mail! Yay!


Ok, I get mail more often than my Special Ed header there may imply, but this one was particularly good. RMP, Esq. sent me his thoughts on the state of wrestling. I'll hand it over to him for a moment:


I have watched wrestling for 16 years ... and I don't want to watch it anymore. It's far, far too depressing.


The WWE as it stands right now should be a dreamlike playhouse of brilliant matches and spectacular angles featuring a who's who of some of the very best performers ever to grace a ring.


But instead it's a dungpile festering inside of a dilapidated funhouse.


I think Vince must finally be acting out his Oedipal fantasies and killing his father by killing all of wrestling.




Who indeed. When the boss and his daughter are enamored of an angle that has someone pretend to fuck a pretend corpse, you know something is wrong. My eloquent reader raises several excellent points, and the only way to answer them is that this is Vince's boy. At least we have a haven in Smackdown, since they haven't gotten around to ruining that show yet.


Raw: The Cliff Notes


The pattern continued: I watched Monday Night Football and taped Raw. And just like last week, I burned the videotape to prevent all the suckitude from infesting the rest of my tape library. Osmosis is a scary thing. If I had a scanner, I'd post a picture of it, but in the meantime, you'll just have to use your imagination.


As always, JHawk has your full recapping needs covered right here. Buy him something from his Amazon wish list or something, because there has to be SOME reward for enduring such unrelentingly shitty television week in and week out.


Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Harvard. Pretty sloppy opener (well, after the opening Promo of Doom-uh), and it felt about two minutes too long. Al Snow seems to be helping Nowinski, for whatever that's worth. 1/10


Storm/Regal vs. Dudleys 2.0: I just don't like Spike as a replacement for D'Von. Completely by-the-numbers and mailed in on all accounts for all three-plus minutes of its existence. Yawn. 1.5/10


Test vs. D'Lo: This is notable only for the Test-Stacy romance bleeding over onto TV. Other than that, it was two minutes of crap. DUD.


Trish/BookDust vs. Jericho/Christian/Victoria: These six-person mixed tag matches are usually messes, but they're fun messes. This one was no exception. At least these two girls know their way around the ring. Trish jobs to the Walls about seven minutes in. 4/10


Snow vs. Dreamer: Al Snow apparently taught young Mr Nowinski well, as the favor of interference is returned in this definitely-not-hardcore cane match. DUD.


Big Slow vs. Island Boyz/Rico: You should already know what this one is getting. DUD.


HHH/Flair vs. Kane/RVD: Rob goes over Flair, thus getting HHH out of even a meaningless job in a boring 12-minute match just to further the inane necrophilia angle. Snore, snore, snore all the way home here. 2/10


Other Developments: Despite the rosters being frozen (hello, writing team, it was TWO WEEKS AGO that this happened), Big Slow was traded to Smackdown for a hot dog vendor, a box of foam middle fingers, and a pint of Undertaker's blood. All I have to say is: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you! Smackdown is the only good show WWE puts on every week, and now they've ruined it by shipping that monument of shit to it, probably to get a push his fat ass hasn't deserved since he signed with the erstwhile WWF. Things like this make Smackdown recappers develop drinking problems. In more news from the bullshit front, WWE had HHH dress up like Kane and pretend to get it on with Katie Vick's corpse in the funeral home. So HHH was doing this ten years ago, five years before Kane debuted in the then-WWF? Uh ... yeah, whatever. It's obvious they're not even trying to do anything except get publicity out of this shit, so I'm not going to dignify it by writing about it anymore.


Rasslin' News


It's all going to be in Quick Hits-style format this week, since I can't summon enough willpower to force myself to care about wrestling right now. Maybe Smackdown will get my juices flowing again, but for now, you'll have to live with me being as witty, insightful, and excellent as always, just jaded on top of it all.


From the Observer, let's compare some interesting WWE figures from September of last year to September of this year:


Estimated average attendance 9/01- 9,133

Estimated average attendance 9/02- 4,170 (-54.3%)


Estimated average gate 9/01- $291,245

Estimated average gate 9/02- $150,100 (-48.5%)


Percentage of house shows sold out 9/01- 26.7

Percentage of house shows sold out 9/02- 3.4


Average Raw rating 9/01- 4.63

Average Raw rating 9/02- 3.54 (-23.5%)


Average Smackdown rating 9/01- 3.70

Average Smackdown rating 9/02- 3.49 (-5.7%)


My take: The Smackdown rating is the best news, as it's declined much less than business on the whole, and is seen by more people than Raw. The rest of it is downright shitty news, and I'd be really surprised if someone in Titan Towers isn't panicking like a sumbitch right now.


According to the Nielsen folks, Raw pulled in a 3.7 this week, which has to be seen as a disappointment coming off a PPV. It's also down 0.1 from last week, meaning that maybe the fans don't want angles involving necrophilia. Heat led the weekend B-show lineup with a 1.0 rating.


From 1bob, Mick Foley has excused himself from appearing on "Byte This!" this Friday. Reports are that Foley decided against the appearance after watching Raw. Score one more for good taste. Thanks, Mick.


More from 1wrestling: WWE is apparently upset that no large media outlets picked up on the Katie Vick angle. Maybe because real news outlets don't want to run DUMBFUCK STORIES ABOUT NECROPHILIA. Christ on a cracker, how dense can some people be. "I can't believe they're not all over this story about a disfigured freak having sex with his dead friend." Even Springer knows better, and that's SAD.


Several places report that Undertaker will be taking some time off due to the upcoming birth of his first child. He has also been removed from the European tour, to be replaced by Booker T.


On WWE's website, there was a poll asking fans their opinion of Monday's angle. At last glance, about 80% of the respondents said they thought the angle was in bad taste. Now if only we knew someone was actually listening to that opinion ... In related news, according to 1bob, WWE Fan Services has received more complaints about this angle than anything else. As of 4:30 this afternoon, they had fielded over 1300 complaints about the angle, with only 37 positives. By contrast, the three-month period the company's PPV events were absent from DirecTV yielded 1100 complaints. Drawn your own conclusions.


Reports are circulating that Vince McMahon and Bret Hart are back on speaking terms. This probably doesn't mean anything now, nor for a while, but it could in the future, so keep that one in the back of your mind.

That's all for the Midweek News this week, as I'm running short on time. I'll be back Thursday with Smackdown, and new TSM staffer Patrick Spoon will be adding his Tough Enough recap. News junkies among you can get your fix from Byron over the weekend. Ave atque vale.


Dr. Tom

Send me mail or I will pretend to rape a corpse!

(Remove the leading X from each field to holler at me.)

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