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

The Midweek News

Recommended Posts

Guest TSMAdmin



It was another wild and woolly weekend in the NFL.


My hometown Ravens and their former bitter division rivals in Tennessee kept trying to hand the game to one another. Finally, the Ravens decided to take it, only after the Titans finally collapsed under the weight of their own incompetence. The Ravens’ offense looked dreadful, and Tennessee racked up more than twice their yards, but an ugly win is still a win. We got a few ugly wins during the Super Bowl run in 2000, but I don’t recall any of them being as downright fugly as Sunday’s affair.


I’ve certainly been a Mike Martz detractor this season, but I can’t join the bandwagon jumping on him after the end of the Rams-Redskins game Sunday. With seventeen seconds left, going for the win is the right thing to do. Take a shot at the end zone, and if you don’t get in, there’s still plenty of time for the field goal. Heck, it was second down: they could have tried to run the ball in, and still had time for a spike before sending the kicking team out there. I’ve heard the maxim that you’re supposed to play for a tie on the road, but whatever happened to playing to win? It doesn’t matter what the venue is: you get sixteen games a year to make your case for January, and you shouldn’t squander any of them by emasculating yourself with your decisions. I’ll give Martz credit for this one: he made the gutsy call when he needed to. Kurt Warner didn’t look bad, but his rust showed in his lack of pocket savvy; there’s no way Warner takes that sack and fumbles the ball under normal circumstances. Of course, if Marshall Faulk plays, the Rams win, but without him, Stephen Davis was able to take the ball 31 times for the ‘Skins and control the clock. Now the Rams have to win out and hope for the best.


Welcome back, friends, Romans, and countrymen. We’re flush in the middle of the football talk (which those of you who read this every week are no doubt used to), I’m Dr. Tom, and this is the best damn rasslin’ news report on the whole wide internet. And speaking of the gridiron gabbing, let’s get back to it before we get to why we’re supposed to be here.


The Packers-Bucs game was notable for what happened afterwards. Following Tampa’s 21-7 win, Bucs DT Warren Sapp and Packers coach Mike Sherman got into a heated argument over what Sherman felt was a cheap shot. The unfortunate result is that starting tackle Chad Clifton is out for the year with torn ligaments in his hip, and possible spinal injuries. Clifton was trailing the play on an interception and looked to be slowing down when Sapp launched himself into his unsuspecting adversary. Legal hit? Sure. Cheap shot? You bet. Sapp wanted to make the highlight reels by smashing his opponent to the ground. He made Sports Center after all, but for a much different reason. Packers coaches were hinting that Sapp would be cut-blocked (also legal) the next time the teams face, before Grand Poobah Tagliabue came in and shushed everyone. What goes around comes around, Warren, and you will get yours, from some other team if not from the Packers. Just because a hit is legal doesn’t mean you should go ahead and make it. There is such a thing as a basic respect for your opponent as a fellow competitor on the field, and look-at-me actions by people like Sapp completely undermine that.


A few quick, general observations on the NFL before we get to the proper business at hand:


--- Michael Vick is amazing. Running back speed, a cannon for an arm, and elusiveness that shames a young Randall Cunningham. If he stays healthy, you’ll hear Vick’s name being called with the great ones.


--- When are teams going to figure out that Priest Holmes is going to touch the ball thirty times a game, and maybe they should focus on him like they would any other elite running back?


--- If it weren’t for Jamal Lewis, the Ravens’ offense would be a complete waste. On the other side of the ball, their defense has been amazing, considering who they lost before the season, and the injuries they’ve had to contend with since.


--- Buffalo has hit the skids since Gregg Williams decided to put from the Patriots’ 32-yard line three weeks ago, trailing by ten in the third, and staring down fourth-and-two. Including that game, the Bills are 0-3 of late, and look pretty hopeless out there. I guess there’s not much reason to play when your coach reveals himself to be a coward.


Since those of you who don’t follow football are probably assembling a lynch mob to come after me, I guess it’s time to move along to the rasslin’ news.


A quick retraction: last week, I mentioned that the Ultimate Warrior was returning to the ring, with the Ring of Honor promotion. I categorized it as “puzzling news,” and there’s a good reason for that: it’s not true. Konnan is going to start working with ROH, but his name was removed from the promotional materials and replaced with Warrior’s as part of a joke. It happened to spread to the sites I cull this news report from. Thanks to those of you who pointed this out to me in email.


Raw: The Cliff Notes


As always, JHawk has your detailed Raw report up and ready. This week’s show wasn’t dreadful, so I’ll refrain from filling you in on his descent into raging alcoholism. Besides, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and who’s not a drunk this time of year?


--- Tag Titles: Chris/Chris vs. The Real Dudleyz. Not a bad opener, and the champs retain after Jericho reversed a rollup. Or do they? Sean Morely (the erstwhile Val Venis) comes out as Easy E’s Chief of Staff and demands the match continue. This happens again, and the result is the same: the champs retain, eventually via submission. This one seemed kind of mailed in, but it was decent enough despite the strange overbooking. 4/10


--- Test vs. Steven Richards. Wow, that Test sure is a rising star. The crowd is SO into him, they don’t dare make a peep during his matches. People like JR and Linda McMannequin can talk about him all the want, but the crowd is dead for him, and if it weren’t for the comely Stacy and the silly “Testicles,” no one would give a shit about him at all. The lame Test Drive wins it for Mr. Crowd Heat. 1/10


--- Maven vs. Chris Harvard. I guess Maven got traded. Nowinksi clobbers him with a book, and the result is that we don’t really have a match. Alrighty then.


--- Chick Title: Trish vs. Victoria. Wow, eight minutes for a women’s match. The girls still need to work with Fit Finlay on how to build a match, though. There were some good spots here, but they weren’t held together by much. Still, progress is progress, and this was one of the better women’s matches I’ve seen. 5/10


--- Hurricane/Jeff Hardy vs. Storm/Regal. I think the highlight of this one might have been JR actually calling the Shining Wizard by name. Otherwise, Regal didn’t look like a walking style clash for a change, but I still think the guy’s overrated based on matches he had years ago. The heels win and Jeff gets beaten down afterwards in what could be considered discrimination. 2/10


--- Kane vs. (Dave) Batista. Kane dominates until Ric Flair hits him with a chair, and Batista then finishes with a powerbomb. Wow, that does him a lot of good. DUD


--- Goldust vs. Rico. A solid if slightly bland match that sees Goldust get the win with the Curtain Call a little more than three minutes in. 3/10


--- Big Gold Belt: RVD vs. HBK. DAMN, did Shawn look like a homo in that getup. This match actually had a good groove going, with both guys playing the psychology card: Shawn going after RVD’s leg, and Rob going after the back, even hitting it with the FIVE-STAR Frog Splash. Of course, that was all pissed away when HHHGH had to run in, wave his shrinking prick in everyone’s face, and destroy both men in short order. Good stuff until the run-in. 6/10


--- Other Developments: Sean Morely debuted as Easy E’s rules lawyer. Two figureheads on one show is ridiculous. Bischoff has managed to do well in what is normally a meaningless role, but I’m not going to hold out hope for Morely. Bischoff on Raw was a genuine shock, and the former Val Venis coming out to engineer a Dusty finish doesn’t have nearly the same impact. The Dudleys stole Christian and Jericho’s clothes while the tag champs were showering, leading to a few amusing moments. The “ass cream” from the gym bag was a little over the top, but all in good fun. Also, Booker T had to be removed from the show due to being dehydrated after the India tour. It’s one thing to head to England or Australia a few times a year: at least those places are civilized. India is another story, though, and I hope this was a lesson for WWE to avoid overpopulated third-world shitholes in the future, New Jersey notwithstanding.


Overall, this was a thoroughly mediocre episode of Raw, which is still better than what they’ve been doing. The main event was good before HHH ran in and shot it all to hell, and everything else was hit-or-miss.


Ratings, Ratings Everywhere


After the PPV bump, Raw was down a bit this week, falling to a 3.4 (on two hours of the same) after pulling down the 3.7 last week. I was hoping the rating would nosedive as soon as HHH showed up, but alas, ‘twas not to be.


Weekend ratings: Velocity 0.9, Confidential 0.8, and Heat paced them all with a 1.4.


(Credit: Nielsen Media Research)


As The Locker Room Turns


Concern is building within WWE that Vince McMahon only cares about the top of the card (what the hell took someone this long to figure that one out?), and doesn’t give much credit to other wrestlers. Wrestlers are getting frustrated because they feel the writers rarely listen to them, and when they do, Vince usually scuttles the idea. In fact, many have stopped suggesting ideas for fear of being labeled as complainers.


There is also belief that Vince “slots” people into certain hard-to-escape roles on the card, while guys like Edge and Jeff Hardy are given “preferential treatment.” You can take that any way you want with regard to Jeff.


Many of the Smackdown wrestlers also believe Raw is a stagnant, inferior show, where sports entertainment and the glass ceiling rule the roost. This one I’ll have to agree with. Smackdown showcases guys who might not qualify as main eventers, but still put on damn fine matches. If anything, the show is guilt of over-relying on the “Smackdown Six,” but when you can count on those men to put on good matches, why not use them. Smackdown also has entertaining midcarders like John Cena and Matt Hardy. Smackdown has been the better show for some time now, and I’m surprised a story like this one wasn’t reported on a while ago.


(Credit: PWTorch.com newsletter)


Just Wait Until I Tell My Girlfriend-uh


After suffering a throat injury at Survivor Series, HHH was written out of Raw the next night, on the belief that he’d be unable to show up and work. However, HHH was released from the hospital and was indeed at Raw. Instead of writing him back into the show, the creative team decided to spotlight other workers, including RVD. They also mentioned HHH about 50,000 times in his absence, but the one-week vacation we got without him appearing on camera WAS nice.


(Credit: PWTorch.com newsletter)


If You Want Probation, Gimme A Hell Yeah


On Monday, Stone Cold Steve Austin pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of battering his wife Debra, earning him a year of probation, 80 hours of community service and a $1000 fine. As part of the judgment, Austin must also attend a family violence counseling class.


If Austin fulfills the terms of the probation, there will be no guilty plea on his record. Terms include a prohibition from drinking alcohol (better make sure those “Steveweisers” are O’Douls, fellas), an edict not to behave aggressively toward his wife (hide the fur-lined handcuffs, Debra), and a requirement to ask the court for permission to leave Bexar County, Texas.


Austin has said he is focused on rebuilding his career, citing the five thousand people who turned up for a Circuit City appearance in Virginia as evidence of his continued drawing power.


(Source: Reuters)


Quick Hits, Notes, and Sundry Asides


Quite a few things that didn’t merit full-blown coverage this week . . .


--- According to the Observer Newsletter, WWE opted for The Big Slow over Chris Benoit as champion precisely because of the lame-duck status. They apparently see Benoit as having a higher long-term upside than Slow (DUH!), and don’t want to use him as a short-term fix.


--- More goodies from Reuters: Judge Robin Jacob, who handed down the ruling that forced the WWF to become WWE, ruled that THQ must remove all games with the old WWF logo from store shelves in the UK. Judge Jacob also said THQ should pursue compensation from WWE for losses associated with unsold products because, “it was the Federation that got them into this mess.”


--- Billboard sales figures for the first week of “WWE Anthology” on the market: it debuted at #13, with sales figures over 100,000 units. Typically, WWE CDs do well in their first week or two, then peter out once fans realize they paid way too much to listen to crappy theme music.


--- According to 1bob, Kurt Angle’s wife recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Angle is expected to be on Smackdown this week before undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery soon.


--- As for the Undertaker, the Observer Newsletter reports that his wife has not yet given birth (other sites say she has, and their news might be more recent), and until she does, he will not undergo surgery for the bone chips in his elbow. Taker also needs to rest his back, and is not written into any storylines at this time. When he does come back, he is expected to work a program with the Big Slow, in what will certainly produce a string of MOTYCs.


--- Ernest “The Cat” Miller is filling in for Taz this week in the commentator’s seat on Smackdown. Apparently, he impressed enough people in the role that he’s being considered for the color position on Velocity. Michael Cole has that role now, basically because no one else is doing it. Somebody call his mama!


--- The folks at 1bob report that Torrie Wilson is changing her diet so as not to have such a muscular appearance. I think she looks DAMN fine the way she is, but if she thinks this can make her look better, I’m all for it.


--- NWA: TNA released a statement that Sean Waltman is not going to appear on tonight’s card. Waltman also no-showed the November 13th taping after oversleeping and missing his flight. There are no plans to use him in future shows.


--- Jerry Lawler caught some heat for his comments on Raw Monday, when he implied that Maven used his mother’s cancer to get famous. Really, is anyone surprised when this guy says something stupid anymore?


--- In positive news, Bret Hart continues to make a good recovery from the stroke he suffered in late June. According to 1bob, Hart can now drive his car, and continues to show improvement overall.


--- The Torch Newsletter reports that Raw has been ending so close to 11:00 because TNN is honked off about WWE abusing the overrun. It’s supposed to last seven minutes, but there were some weeks when it ran until 11:10 or 11:15. TNN airs reruns of CSI’s first season – which they paid a nice bit of coin for – after Raw, and they’d like it to start when it’s supposed to. It’s a shame CSI has such a lousy lead-in show; it might pull in even better ratings with something strong on before it.


Since It’s Thanksgiving


Since tomorrow is the day of giving thanks, I’ll let all the other fine writers at TSM give me thanks for plugging them in the best damn rasslin’ news column on the whole wide internet. Don’t worry, guys, I’m working on an Amazon wish list, and I’m sure you can show your gratitude for under $100.


-- I already plugged JHawk’s Raw Report, but this way, he’ll have to get me two gifts! HAH! Actually, make that three gifts, since I’m going to pimp his look at Starrcade ’83, too. Bust out the credit card, Hawk.


-- Jay Spree enlightened us on the world of DVD this week. There have been some slim weeks of late.


-- Peter “Fake Razor” Ramon covered the highest rated B-show this weekend. He also did a bang-up job on WWE’s latest console game, Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth, and because he saved me the trouble of doing a review, Razor is exempted from getting me a gift.


-- Brandon Truitt decided to celebrate Thanksgiving by pulling a shoot interview with one of the biggest turkeys in wrestling off his bookshelf. It’s still good stuff, even if Lawler’s kid has some issues.


-- Bryan Staebell joined the TSM writing crew this week, previewing tonight’s NWA: TNA card. By the time you read this, it probably won’t be a preview, but check him out anyway. And new meat has to buy TWO gifts.


-- Confidential was brought to you, as always, by Retro Rob. Sometimes, the recaps are more interesting than the shows themselves.


-- My co-conspirator on Velocity, “Crucifixio Jones,” warmed you up for the real Velocity report, coming from yours truly this weekend. Actually, CJ has a unique recapping style, and is definitely worth a read.

That’s all for the Midweek News this time. Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers, and to those elsewhere in the world, uh . . . have a nice Thursday. I’ll be back tomorrow for the Turkey Day edition of Smackdown, after eating too much and imbibing too many adult beverages. Ave atque vale.


Dr. Tom

Don't be a turkey: send feedback!

(Gobble the leading X from each field first)

Share this post

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