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The Midweek News

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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . .”


Friends, that’s a bunch of bullshit. People don’t bludgeon each other over the latest fad toys for their obese children during the “most wonderful time of the year.” I’ve been shopping online exclusively for the last three years, and I don’t miss trudging thru malls and stores in the slightest. I think I’ve only had one fight with a crazed mother over a toy, and the bitch gave that shit up when I headbutted her square in the nose. Fight ME for a Furby, will you . . .


Um, anyway, this is the thirteen-shopping-days-until-Xmas edition of the best damn rasslin’ news column on the whole wide internet, the Midweek News. I’m not a jolly old elf, but I am the conductor of this runaway train, Dr. Tom. And while you’re finishing your shopping, why don’t you reach back into those wallets and spend a little on your favorite internet writer? (No, not Dames, despite the clearly rigged results of the TSM Awards.)


This is unfortunately going to have to be an abbreviated edition, due to the time spent tracking down gifts for everyone, and some longer-than-normal days at work. We’re starting off the usual way, though.


Let’s Talk About FOOTBALL~!


Might as well get the homerism out of the way. The Ravens had chances to beat the Saints, but instead, decided to hand the game to New Orleans. After stuffing him in the first half, the Ravens’ D suddenly forgot how to tackle Deuce McAllister once the second half started. Add in two blocked punts and two fumbles by Jamal Lewis, and it wasn’t a good day for the Purple and Black.


For the second time this year, Tampa Bay held Michael Vick in check while beating the Falcons. As Vick goes, so his team goes, and it will remain that way until they fill in some of the skill positions around him. Vick looks like the real deal, though, especially considering this is only his second pro season and first as the full-time starter. He should be a senior in college, which I imagine would put all the Heisman debates to rest. When he stops getting by on pure ability and actually knows what he’s doing in the NFL, he’ll really be something to see.


Speaking of the Heisman, I think Willis McGahee’s six-touchdown outing against Virginia Tech opened up what was a close race. At the point, I can’t see a good reason to give it to anyone else. The Heisman basically just goes to the most-hyped player (Read: quarterback or running back) at a big school anyway, but McGahee and Larry Johnson are probably the best backs in the country considering the level of competition they face every week.


The playoff races continue to rage, with the NFC a lot more certain than the AFC at this point. I’ve heard a few people talk about San Diego in the playoffs, and I’d just like to say how far they’ll get if they make it: Nowhere. They’re definitely a team on the rise, but they play a lousy schedule and they get KILLED when they lose. Those ingredients don’t go into the formula for playoff success. The most dangerous team in that division is Kansas City, and they probably won’t even make the playoffs. They’re a threat to throw 40 points on the board every time they step onto the field, and their defense looks to be gelling as the season goes on. They could open some eyes if they sneak in, but I wouldn’t hold out a lot of hope for them at this point.


When the playoffs come around, I’m going to weigh in each week with my picks for all the games. If you’d like to join in the fun and become the envy of millions (Ok, a few thousand) of readers the world over, send me your picks when the time comes. I’ll warn you, though: I’m pretty good at this prognostication thing. Had I not missed two weeks, I’d be in the Top Five in our continuing contest on the forums. It was nifty when Alina was winning the whole thing (because you KNOW some guys were cheesed about losing to a girl), but several factors have since combined to mean a much more boring person is now winning a wide-open race. It’s never too late to take part if you’re so inclined, but you obviously won’t be contending for the lead this late in the season.


OK, with the gridiron gusto out of my system, let’s push along to the rasslin’ stuff. No time for the Raw Cliff Notes this week, so I’ll just make a few remarks: good character development on Goldust, Bookdust better win the tag belts, Flair’s still the man on the stick, the show didn’t build for the PPV well at all, and it was profoundly boring to boot. As always, JHawk has your detailed Raw report ready to go.


What’s In a (Domain) Name?


Not much, at least not yet. The domain of wwfe.com is up for auction on EBay. It’s still got six days to go as I write this, with the high bid listed at a whopping $55.00. This presumes that Vince McMahon is going to somehow defy the courts and go back to calling his company the WWF. Don’t hold your breath on that count, and thus, don’t bid on what will likely be a useless trinket in a jewelry store of better domain names.


The rest of the news will get the short form treatment. Sources are the usual: Observer, Torch, their respective newsletters, 1wrestling, and Rajah. For the ratings, give it up for Nielsen Media Research. Yes, they really insist on being called that. Anyway . . .


-- Paul Heyman was on “Off The Record” on TSN earlier this week. Paul played it pretty close to the vest with his answers, but here’s a rundown of some highlights: he thinks Austin left because of the Brock situation, thinks Austin will come back if it’s right for business, thinks the Rock has great heel potential, the writing process is all about Vince, and that he took Jerry Lawler’s job and did it better than “The King” ever did. Amen to that last one.


-- The 1bob gang reports that morale on Raw is in the shitter, again. Some wrestlers are upset that Albert got the HOSS PUSH~! over the more deserving Matt Hardy. There’s also a feeling that HHH is the only person on Raw allowed to shine, and this week’s very low attendance was disheartening.


-- Hulk Hogan was supposed to take a meeting with Vince McMahon at the Smackdown! tapings last night. Word is that Vince would like to let Hogan promote his book, though a return beyond that is still up in the air. If nothing can be worked out, Hogan is apparently quite content to jet off to the land of the rising sun and work with his buddy Goldberg.


-- Raw did another 3.3 this week, with individual hours of 3.1 and 3.5. That still sucks a savage sausage, in case you don’t keep up with the ratings much.


-- Weekend ratings: Velocity and Confidential both scored a 0.7, and Heat blazed the Nielsen trail at 1.1


-- Nothing has been confirmed, but several people are taking it as a lead-pipe cinch that Steve Austin will be at the Raw 10th Anniversary Show.


Pimpin’ Hoes, Nationwide


I need to get a few non-TSM plugs in before we call this a wrap.


Over at 411, one of my partners in crime from the old Smarks EZBoard has a regular gig writing the news. A lot of you are probably already familiar with Jay Bower and his informative, zany, often quite funny look at our so-called sport. If you’re not, head on over and give him a look-see. He and his brother, Ken Anderson (another 411 writer) have a blog over at Scarymidgets, where they’ve assembled a comp tape that looks like it’ll be the shiznit.


Another running buddy at the old EZBoard, Dave Dymond, has stopped killing threads long enough to turn out opinion pieces for 411. Dave’s very concise and easy to read, while saying a lot, and his latest column just might persuade you to join him in his boycott of WWE.


Considering that EZBoard had current TSM staffer O.R. Polk, Bower, Dymond, and yours truly, I’d say that was one hell of a talented gang of regular posters. Of course, the guy who was probably the best of all of us, Charles Williams, wrote a couple columns, then disappeared. It was a shame to see a voice like his fall silent. Loss, if you’re reading this, shoot me an email if you ever want a gig at TSM.

That brings this abbreviated edition of the Midweek News to a close. I should be back in full swing next week. The following week is Xmas, and I don’t like any of you enough to churn out one of these on a holiday, so we’ll have to reschedule that one. Look for me tomorrow with Smackdown, and check TSM over the weekend for Byron’s news. Ave atque vale.


Dr. Tom

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