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The Midweek News

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A nifty piece from the mailbag to start:


Just thought you should know, saying Los Guerreros won via "Greco-Roman belt to the melon" managed to shock me to the point that liquid poured out my nose. And I wasn't drinking anything. Yes, you managed to burst a blood vessel in my left nostril. Bravo, I appreciate quality of writing.




Today a nosebleed, tomorrow, a full-fledged aneurysm. You've been warned.


Welcome back to the best damn rasslin’ news report on the whole wide internet. This is Dr. Tom, and I’m your tour guide for this look at wrestling news, football talk, scattered opinions, biting wit, and writing excellence. Before I dislocate my shoulder patting myself on the back, let’s kick things off like we usually do.


Let’s Talk About FOOTBALL~!


If you don’t like the NFL chatter, skip down to the next time you see bold text.


Michael Vick continues to amaze. He didn’t have a terrific day passing the ball, but 173 yards rushing for a quarterback is impressive if you give one about six games. Vick did it all in one, including a 46-yard scamper to win the game in OT, when the Vikings managed to put one hand on him. People say he’s the fastest man in the NFL, and I wouldn’t doubt it. Unless other “fastest man” busts who were one-dimensional receivers, Vick is the total package. He plays QB because he makes things happen, and the fact that he can heave the ball 70 yards in the air helps, too.


Yet another nail was nailed the coffin of Mike Martz’s supposed genius. After insisting Kurt Warner was his man, Warner promptly returned the Rams to their losing ways. He’s now 0-7 as their starter this year. He was the success story of the league until last year’s Super Bowl, when he suddenly became very human. The humanity continues. Warner’s persistent hand problems are plaguing him again, but he looked so bad in the loss to the Eagles, that there’s no way he should start again this season, even if healthy. Warner looked totally out of sync with the rest of the offense, and couldn’t capitalize on the numerous chances the Eagles gave him to win the game for his team. Marc Bulger might not be healthy, but Jamie Martin is an improvement over Warner at this point.


On the homer front, my Ravens got another FUGLY win against the Bungles. Brian Billick should thank his lucky stars that his no-name defense has a tendency to make big plays. With the quarterback situation continuing to suck, the Ravens’ offense has turned into the Jamal Lewis and Todd Heap Show. With Michael McCrary and Ray Lewis out for the year, the Ravens will need their defense to keep making big plays. It’s obvious the offense isn’t going to get it done.


Props to Tim Brown for becoming only the third man in NFL history to have 1000 receptions for his career. After a slow first four years, Brown has had a consistent and very productive career, and he’ll coast into Canton five years after he retires. Brown won the Heisman while at Notre Dame in 1987, and he’s one of four other guys in that time who won the Heisman and went on to solid NFL careers: Barry Sanders (1988), Eddie George (1995), Charles Woodson (1997), and Ricky Williams (1998). Some of the less deserving mortals who have had their slimy paws on the Heisman include Gino Toretta, Rashaan Salaam, and Chris Weinke. At least time Brown is in good company in the professional ranks.


Ok, time to push along to the real reason we’re here.


Raw: The Cliff Notes


As always, JHawk has your detailed Raw report ready to go about an hour after the show ends. He also runs the HHHater Clock, a useful feature to have. Despite JR saying things like, “Raw doesn’t revolve around HHH” during the joke of a main event Monday night, a lot of us know the real story.


-- The Real Damn Dudleyz vs. Two Fat Samoans: Not a bad eight-minute opener, but this matchup is already getting boring. The Duds win with the 3D. 4/10


-- Trish vs. Ivory: Looks like Ivory’s getting some Tough Enough exposure here. Pretty standard fare from the girls, as Trish wins with the bulldog. 2/10


-- Hardy/Dreamer vs. Regal/Storm: Completely pointless, boring three-minute match. No one cares about the Storm/Regal pairing, and neither hankies nor kendo sticks will change that. 1/10


-- Batista vs. Tropical Storm. If they keep jobbing Helms out in under a minute like this, I’ll be forced to downgrade him for Gale Force Winds. DUD


-- Raw Tag Titles: Chrischris vs. Bookdust: This started a singles match between Booker and Jericho, which “Chief of Staff” Sean Morley restarted as a tag match because of a shady finish. So of course, the heels retain with their specialty shady finish: the beltshot. The two matches combined were pretty good, but the heat was much better for the tag portion. 6/10


-- Victoria vs. Jackie Not-Gayda: Non-title, so Jackie wins to get the hometown pop that doesn’t happen. We’ll ignore the fact that Booker and Goldust, both Texas natives and both far more over than any of the ladies, were jobbed out in the previous match. DUD


-- HHHGH vs. Some Jobber, Dude: Yeah, like you need me to tell you who won. 1/10


Other Developments: They actually could have had a decent main event, even with the inevitability of HHH winning. A fifteen-minute match, wherein RVD has several legit chances to win, would have allowed him to job and still be worth something when he’s called to the a sacrificial lamb next month. But of course, HHH goes over via lame chairshot after about six minutes. And what the HELL was with the buildup to this match? It was obvious Shawn Michaels was going to be the special ref. The problem is, stipulations like the special referee are supposed to stack the deck against the babyface. Instead, HHH was the sympathetic underdog the whole night. The whole point of things like special referees is to force the babyface to overcome very difficult odds if he wants to win. Forcing someone who’s supposed to be a heel to do it is STUPID, plain and simple. Christ on a stale fucking saltine, this is BASIC booking, and they’re getting it ass-backwards because HHH has to wave his prick at everyone else in the locker room. Other shit happened, but the bookers getting the basics wrong to such a ridiculous degree has forced me to not give a rat fuck about anything else that happened. Anybody still wonder why I’m glad I get to do Smackdown?


Holiday Ratings Tend To Be Turkeys


Smackdown aired on Thanksgiving Thursday, and the ratings reflected that a lot of people were passed out from eating too much turkey. Smackdown pulled in a 2.7 rating and a 5 share. Ratings across the board were down for the holiday, so no one’s panicking over this one.


(Credit: Nielsen Media Research)


Random (Non-Wrestling) Rant


Just something I read an article on and need to vent about briefly.


It seems that cell phone use while driving is becoming a popular fad to attack. This comes up periodically, and it always strikes me as ridiculous. A study conducted last year found that cell phones were tenth on the list of factors contributing to serious accidents. Ahead of them were things like the radio, climate controls, and passengers. A few self-important windbags always cry out against cell phones in cars and want to van their use, despite other factors being more deadly. Until those people unequivocally call for the banning of radios, heat and A/C, and actually having passengers, I’d like to kindly invite them to shut the fuck up and nail themselves to a different cross.


I have a cell phone, and there are times I use it while I’m driving. Maybe that makes me a Bad Person in light of the latest crusade. However, it’s been seven years since I had a car accident, and I’ve never even come close to having one because I was on a cell phone. You know why? Because I don’t DRIVE LIKE AN ASSHOLE. Like it’s a coincidence that people who regularly use their cell phones behind the wheel are always in a hurry, very likely to speed, and more prone to drive recklessly? They’re wired, man, and they’re always on the go, and they’re the saddest victims of our instant gratification society. They’d be menaces on the road without cell phones, yet the phone is the easiest thing to blame because witnesses can see someone using a phone while driving. It reminds me of the DC sniper scenario: the media ingrained the “white cargo van” into everyone’s head so much that people would look for a white van after a shooting. Instead of finding a car being driven suspiciously, people were looking for ubiquitous white vans. It won’t surprise me in the least when accident witnesses start looking for a cell phone, even if none of the drivers involved had been using one at the time.


Rant over. Carry on.


Maybe It’s Not The Rock’s Show Anymore


The Steve Austin talks that everyone and their brother has been speculating about and reporting on for a while are apparently still ongoing. Austin continues to negotiate with WWE about his return, but word is that he wants no part of the Raw brand. You’ll recall that Austin’s last walkout was over large creative differences with the Raw writing team. This could lead to Austin landing on Smackdown, which already has the more talented roster of the two shows.


My opinion, since I’m the Smackdown guy: bring him on. A motivated Austin would be a tremendous asset to Smackdown, while an unmotivated Austin would be lost in the shuffle of guys who go thru the motions on Raw. Face or heel, he’d do a lot for the show, especially give them the main-event name the brand lacks (though some would argue that Kurt Angle’s at that level). I think Austin would make a great heel to pair up against Edge, Brock Lesnar, and even a face Angle. His heel work during 2001 was amazing, and I’d love to see him reprise it on the show I get to watch every week.


(Credit: 1wrestling.com)


The Shock Is Dead, Long Live The Shock


It seems that everyone is indeed capable of learning.


The Observer Newsletter reports that Vince McMahon got up during a creative meeting and declared that Shock TV is dead. Presumably, there will be less Shock TV on WWE programming, since it’s been given up for dead as a way to generate casual fan interest.


We’ll see if it happens, but Halleluia if it does.


(Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)


More Ratings


Raw sucked the meat missile again, earning a paltry 3.3 rating this Monday night. That’s the second-lowest score for a live Raw in the last five years, topped (bottomed?) only by the 3.1 the show pulled in two weeks ago. Obviously, this low rating is due to a lack of support for HHH. Next week, he’ll win in four minutes, come to the ring on a carpet of rose petals, and get verbally fellated in every segment.


Weekend ratings: Tough Enough did a solid 1.3 on Thanksgiving. Velocity grabbed a 0.7, Confidential a 0.6, and Heat was not released as of this writing, for some reason.


(Credit: Nielsen Media Research)


New Guys At TSM


We added to our already impressive writing staff at TSM this week. Clint Dreamer has a mountain of tapes to review, and pulled two stones off of that mountain this week: Fan Favorite Matches, and WWF Wrestlemania. Yes, the first one. Also, former 411 staffer Tony Jaymz made an immediate contribution to our pop culture section with a review of the Gamecube hit Super Mario Sunshine. Check ‘em out.


Not much has happened since Byron did the news, so we’ll jump to the denouement.


Quick Hits, Notes, and Sundry Asides


-- All sites are reporting that WWE is inviting scores of past performers to the 500th Raw, and hopes a lot of them will show up. Hopes center around Steve Austin, of course.


-- The Torch Newsletter reports that Kurt Angle has an excellent backstage reputation. How this is surprising (or even news), I’m not really sure, but it was there just the same. Angle is said to be very helpful of younger wrestlers and is more likely to hang out with the midcarders than the main event crowd.


-- The Observer reports that Rey Mysterio is undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery tomorrow, performed by the man who’s quickly becoming WWE’s official medic: Dr. James Andrews. There’s no word yet on how long Rey will be out, but most “scopes” take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to heal. Look for an injury angle on this week’s Smackdown.


-- Despite some pockmarks on their reputations, HHH and Brock Lesnar reportedly earned a lot of respect for working thru their injuries in their respective SurSer matches. This one comes from the Observer Newsletter.

Like I said, it’s a slow news week, so that wraps up this edition of the Midweek News. I’ll be back tomorrow with Smackdown, and hopefully, we’ll actually get a Tough Enough recap this week to go behind it. Your weekend news, which makes my job much easier, will arrive courtesy of Byron, and Dames will have his acclaimed NWA: TNA report up tomorrow. Ave atque vale.


Dr. Tom

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