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Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1472

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  • Colin Vassallo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2002
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      Exclusive wrestling news being broken around the clock at

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      / _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1472
      | (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Saturday, December 7th 2002
      \___/|_|\_|____|___|_|\_|___| http://www.wrestling-online.com
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      By Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]

      Heya. If you didn't get the newsletter yesterday....well....that's
      because there wasn't one! Hehe :)

      Ian Hamilton decided to write a f'n book not a column this week, so his
      long-@ss piece is included in today's issue.


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      > RATINGS
      - Smackdown! did a 3.4 composite rating with a 5.0 share, up from last
      week's 2.7 rating on Thanksgiving day. (Ratings compiled by Nielsen
      Media Research and put online by 1wrestling.com)

      - We have received information on the Survivor Series DVD/VHS which is
      set for release in January. Apart from the whole unedited event, the DVD
      is packed with these features. 5 post-match interviews; Goldust &
      Hurricane vs Storm & Regal from Heat; Making of the Elimination Chamber;
      A review of the Elimination Chamber; Music video of Saliva's 'Always'
      song; A poster gallery and a feature on Eric Bischoff in Madison Square
      Garden. The artwork for both the DVD & VHS version features a background
      of a cage and a picture of each six participants boxed.

      - The following shows went on sale earlier today. Live Smackdown! in
      Albuquerque, NM., on Thursday, January 2nd at the Tingley Coliseum; Live
      event on Friday January 3rd at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA.;
      Live event on Saturday January 4th in Fairbanks, Alaska, at the Carlson
      Center; Live event on Saturday January 4th at the Arrowhead Pond in
      Anaheim, CA.; Live event on Sunday January 5th in Anchorage, Alaska at
      the Sullivan Arena; RAW live on Monday January 6th in Phoenix, AZ., at
      the America West Arena; Smackdown! tapings on Tuesday January 7th in
      Tucson, AZ., at the Tucson Convention Center; Live event on Friday
      January 10th in El Paso, TX., at the Don Haskins Center; Live event on
      Saturday January 11th at the San Angelo Coliseum in San Angelo, TX.;
      Live event on Sunday January 12th in Atlantic City, NJ., at the
      Atlantic City Boardwalk. For more ticket information call the arena box

      > STOCKS
      - Stocks closed the week at 8.64, a 2.73% increase over the previous
      closing. The day's range was 8.40 - 8.70.

      - Stacy Keibler and The Hurricane will be traveling to the UK next week
      to promote the Armageddon pay-per-view, which will be live on Sky Box
      Office next Sunday. Armageddon is one of the four WWE PPVs which are
      shown on the Box Office channel instead of Sky Sports 1 and it costs
      £14. The two WWE superstars will be doing several TV appearances as well
      as newspaper interviews.


      >> KNIVES OUT
      By Ian Hamilton, [ian.hamilton@...]

      How do you make a Maltese cross? Do you poke his eyes out? Naah. just
      disappear for a week and return with a near-4,000 word column!

      Apologies for no Knives Out for the first weekend going into December -
      a mixture of University work and other matters stopped me getting time
      to write this.

      In hindsight though, you be grateful! This week's column nearly didn't
      happen either, thanks to British Telecom. My telephone line died on me
      on Monday night, and as of writing this part of the column (Wednesday
      night), I was still without internet access. So muchas gracias BT and
      your 'customer service' for a problem which I've had with the line half
      a dozen times in the last 18 months. I suppose, you could say:

      "Columnist Ian Hamilton at ian.hamilton@... is looking
      for a g!@damn internet connection from 12/2 onwards. If you can help
      him, drop a line to BT and tell them to pull their fingers out of their
      @sses" (in the style of the "small ads" in the WOL newsletter)

      Without the web for the best part of the past week, I've been listening
      to a lot more music - both at home and at University. I know this has no
      place in a wrestling column, but sod it, it's my column! Time for a
      (one-off) edition of what's really taken a hold of my ears for the past

      "Never Gonna Stop" - Rob Zombie; at University, it seems, whenever I
      hear this, I see someone very close to my heart.

      "Whatever" - Our Lady Peace; yes, another wrestling theme song, but it's
      a damn good listen when you're walking/running into the city centre on a
      cold morning.

      "Deny" - Default; the highlight of the Nickelback support set a few
      weeks back, this song is damn emotional (depending how you're feeling
      when you listen to it). If you've just been dumped, or lost a close
      friend, don't listen to this without having any Kleenex nearby.

      "One Last Run" - Nickelback; Hey, this could have been written for Ric
      Flair. I presume you DO remember his "one last run" promo a few months
      ago? No? There's a job for you on the WWE booking committee, Mr
      Short-Term Memory Loss Man.

      "Always" - Saliva; forget its connections with the Survivor Series, look
      at it for what it is. nu-metal meeting Nickelback-esque ballads head on.
      And you get a damn good song.

      "Tattoo" - Big Mother Thruster; you may also recognise this song as the
      track that Maven currently uses as his ring music. A good
      sing-a-long-a-song if you're into that sort of thing.

      A couple of Foo Fighters songs - "Halo", "The One" and "Tired of You".
      Not classics, by any stretch of the imagination (I class the likes of
      "Everlong" as classics), but still good songs.

      Finally (for this pointless slice of Knives Out), if you can't tell what
      sort of mood I'm in this week, I'll round it off with some self
      explanatory tracks. "In Love" by the Datsuns, and "Marie" (sic) by
      Blondie. Right, now where's my Satyricon CD and drunken moose.?

      It was nice to see that I was placed on the shortlist for the WOL 2002
      awards. so you know who to vote for if you want a Brit to win the
      Columnist of the Year award! Just go to
      http://www.wrestling-online.com/cgi-bin/2002awards/poll14.pl, click on
      the little dot to the left of "Ian Hamilton 'Knives Out'", and click on
      vote. Et voila!

      I've not seen any WWE shows (bar Velocity) for around a fortnight now,
      so what I'm writing is based purely on what I've seen on the web at Uni,
      and from the Wrestling Observer (well, at least THAT hasn't f**ked up on
      me yet)

      So with that in mind, and with my telecoms rants, @ss kissing, and
      personal life out of the way for a few moments, let's get down to the

      Surprise surprise, Triple H returns from a (legit) serious injury to
      inject himself into the World title picture again. Screw the HBK vs
      whoever "dream" matches, we want more HHH/HBK. Or do we? Well, I'm not a
      WWE booker, but I do know a load of people who don't know their ass from
      their elbow (trust me, I work with a lot of them).

      Yes, HBK being World champion again will bring back a lot of memories
      for the legions of HBK marks from the (then) WWF's slump in the mid 90s.
      Then again, Shawn's return hasn't exactly evoked the same reaction that
      Hulk Hogan did ten months ago.

      The only way Shawn's return will have a positive effect (in the long
      run) is if he eventually drops the title, clean (D-Lo, that's jinxed
      this already!), to a "new" name in the World title picture. I'm not
      talking about dumping the belt back to HHH, or to someone else with HHH
      (or even Silent Ric Flair) interfering in the match. I'm talking about,
      say, Shawn Michaels losing cleanly to Chris Jericho (he he) for the
      title (he he). Yes, we can all dream, but that's the only way the WWE
      can benefit from having Shawn Michaels as a World champ.

      Hulk Hogan laid down for Brock Lesnar as Brock was en route to becoming
      the WWE champ, and look what that "legend slaying" did for Lesnar's
      career. Shawn simply must do the same, to help one of Raw's many
      midcarders get a leg up to the main event.

      It was interesting to see this week that the Raw and SmackDown-brand
      stars were actually praying about their careers.

      According to the PW-Torch, Raw superstars have been handing in
      storylines a-plenty to get them moves to SmackDown. The guys over on
      SmackDown have been praying to D-Lo that they don't get transferred to

      Man, it sure must suck to be in the WWE right now - one false move, and
      you' re stuck on the B-show, hitting the glass ceiling, and getting your
      storylines changed every week. Isn't that right Chris?

      Sticking with Jericho. What the hell is up with his music? Just as I was
      growing to like his Saliva-recorded track, King of My World, the WWE
      goes and changes it back to his old theme. It's inconsistencies like
      that (remember the first Raw after the Survivor Series, when Jericho
      used both his themes on the show?) which played a part in WCW's demise.
      Granted, Raw is a live show, and mistakes do happen, but what was the
      point in a) hyping up Jericho's new music from Saliva (in the form of a
      music video, and a live performance) if they were going to ditch it as
      soon as Josey Scott and co. had done their live performance?

      Whilst watching Velocity on Sunday night (in the UK) I managed to catch
      that "greatest rib of all time" from Tough Enough 3 (which isn't being
      shown in the UK). I swear to D-Lo, if I was sitting at Trax there and
      then, I'd have tried to have killed Jonah for that little stunt. Still,
      I wasn't. I was sitting at home, splitting my sides through laughing.
      Well, even if Jonah's in-ring skill isn't the best (I've not seen TE3,
      so I' m in no position to comment), he'll be a good laugh backstage if
      he does win the contest.

      I know I've stopped covering NWA:TNA, but I feel something has to be
      said. The Vince Russo/Roddy Piper angle on this week's show was
      tasteless beyond bounds. Apparantly, Piper did the segment with the
      knowledge and consent of the Harts (something which I question). Anyway,
      cheers to an unknown recapper for this:

      "Piper said Russo was a writer, and then asked who wrote Owen Hart's
      death. He said suspending Owen above the ring wasn't wrestling, and then
      accused Russo of never calling Hart's family to see how they were doing.
      Piper then took off his jacket, revealing a shirt with the names of
      wrestlers that passed away. Piper then said he was there because
      wrestling was supposed to be about entertaining fans in the ring. Vince
      Russo came into the ring from the crowd, and tried to sneak up on Piper,
      but Piper backed him into the corner. Piper got right in his face, and
      asked him if he killed Owen Hart."

      Man, just reading that makes me sick. Granted, there is a point in
      saying "sports entertainment killed these guys", but singling out Owen
      Hart for a "special mention"? Thank God I stopped even READING TNA
      results after the first few weeks.

      We knew it had to happen. With Rey Mysterio needing an operation on his
      knee, we knew that the WWE would have to have Rey squashed by SOMEONE to
      get Rey Rey some time off to go under the knife. I'd have been happy if
      it'd been the Big Show. Hell, I'd have accepted it (to some extent) if
      it was Mark Henry, or even Michael f'n Cole. But ALBERT?! On Velocity
      last week, the WWE teased an Albert/TAFKA Hugh Morrus tag team. so after
      one week, it's disbanded so that Albert can squash Mysterio. Yep, that's
      really going to draw in the money. All I can say, is "Good Luck" Edge,
      since you'll probably be facing Albert at the PPV.

      Also - we've got Big Show/Kurt Angle at Armageddon. Anyone want to place
      a bet as to who'll squash Angle so HE can get his time off?

      From the files marked "Where are we headed here?" and "Is Vince Russo
      back?" - segments were taped on SmackDown this week hinting at some HLA
      between Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson.

      I've thought about this for, ooh, 30 seconds (which is 30 seconds more
      than your average WWE booker would have done) and I still can't figure
      out what the WWE are planning to do. Maybe two "marriages" in a year is
      too many for them.

      Time for a Ross Report Recap!

      JR mentions the heat he got in Texas for Raw... the Texas/OU BS.... Some
      praise for Raw, a lot more for SmackDown, with the SmackDown main event
      getting special praise

      "Bottom line here is that everyone involved in the process of putting
      together great TV shows is working diligently to do just that" - and JR
      reckons business will pick up in 2003...

      Confirms Saturn and Godfather's release... Hogan's book hit #13 on the
      New York Times bestseller list... pimps Lawler's book... Rey Rey had
      knee surgery on Thursday and is out 'til January... Tajiri sprained his
      but he will do the RAW tour of South Korea and Japan, as his wife is due
      to give birth then...

      Edge has injured his knee, but he's working through it right now....
      Dreamer had to have some stitches on his nose after Raw this week...
      Brock's working through the rib and a sore knee... Rhyno, Jazz and Mark
      Henry should be cleared to return soon...

      Undertaker's feeling better after his rest, but he will need his elbow
      'scoped to remove some bone chips... Billy Gunn's got some feeling back
      in his arm, but the WWE aren't even considering a return to work for
      TAFKA Mr @ss...

      "Bradshaw is scheduled to travel to Afghanistan later this month to
      visit our troops there. The big Texan has seemingly travelled more miles
      for WWE since becoming injured with a torn biceps than when he was

      Randy Orton should be back in February... JR pimps the RNN Updates...
      Lita has stepped up her workouts and should be back for May 2003,
      although she hasn't started jogging or bumping again

      OVW will be holding a tryout camp in February from 23rd thru 28th...
      "Looks like the Tough Enough 3 finals will be at The World on Thursday,
      Jan. 23, LIVE on MTV. I have my own thoughts on this group of talents,
      and I don't think it is going to be easy to pick a winner out of the
      remaining contestants. As I said early on, the male talents seem to be
      much stronger than their female counterparts this go around. "

      JR mentions Bret Hart and his continuing recovery from a stroke... Name
      checks Albert, DeMott, Nikita Fink, Jackie Gayda and Linda Miles (last 3
      from OVW)

      "Hurricane and Stacy Keibler will be travelling to the U.K. next week
      for promotional work. These two are certainly excellent representatives
      of WWE and their efforts are greatly appreciated by all."

      Kanyon's OVW work is earning rave reviews... HBK's in-ring schedule is
      set to be increased soon... JR mentions the Macy Day's Parade again...
      Paul Heyman is to record an episode of TSN's Off The Record soon...

      More football b.s. plus hype for next week's Raw, SmackDown and PPV. And
      we're done with JR for another week!

      Congratulations to James Johnston for getting platinum-level sales for
      the WWE Anthology CD. Sadly, because of the way these awards are given
      out, it' ll be a month before the Anthology gets the platinum
      certification. which will be December 12th-ish. Still, not bad for
      around twenty years of work. Rough note - since I last wrote (Knives
      Out), the bonus track was finally released. For those of you with the
      patience to go through the rigmarole of WWE.com's sign up BS, the bonus
      track is Kidman's new theme, which is apparently done by DMX (like I
      say, I cannot confirm that, but reliable sources reckon it's to hype
      DMX's forthcoming new album)

      WWE Raw has well and truly flopped in the UK. On PC and X-Box. So it's a
      good job the game is getting pulled from sale then. Since THQ didn't
      change the numerous WWF references in the game, the High Court of London
      demanded that no more new copies are made. The first PC magazine reviews
      of Raw are starting to filter out - and they aren't good. PC Gamer gave
      it around about 54%, whilst PC Format gave it 72%. The difference? The
      PC Format reviewer is a wrestling fan, and is more accommodating than
      the philistines over at PC Gamer (look it up.) But I'll tell you why Raw
      is flopping badly in the UK.

      Because D-Lo Brown isn't on it :)

      The WWE held their quarterly conference call a few weeks ago. It's true
      - the WWE are screwed. That's not the view of Linda McMahon, but of us
      fans who have common sense. Especially after (head booker) Stephanie
      claimed that the WWE's business was down because the economy in the US
      was down.

      Yes love. and would you like to tell me why that hasn't affected other
      sports, like baseball, basketball, ice hockey, football and many more?
      Face facts (damn, this sounds like a HHH promo), the product sucks - and
      unless major changes are made, it's going to head towards the U-bend
      some time after Raw #500.

      A few quick points:

      - Man, did my jaw drop when I saw Owen Hart on Raw again. Shame it was
      only to hype up Shawn Michaels' first match on the show in five years. I
      still think it's a crying shame that we won't be able to see Owen Hart -
      wrestling or otherwise - again, ever. Cheers for putting the word
      "great" next to Owen Hart's though JR, even though SOME people could say
      that the WWE use the phrase "late, great (name)" as much as the term
      "WWE Superstar".

      - Looks like Stone Cold's return may be put on hold for another 12
      months. Unless he totally eliminates the Steveweisers from his
      repertoire. Given that the cans are already shaken before Austin opens
      them, and that he only drinks the foam, surely he won't be drinking
      anywhere near enough alcohol to get pissed?

      - It looks like we have a new "lamest finishing move ever" award winner.
      Chris Nowinski's lethal "big book to the head" managed to knock out
      Maven on Raw a few weeks ago. Congratulations Chris, I thought the
      Stinkface was going to take some beating. Earth to Brian Gerwitz:
      hitting a 200lb man over the head with a hardback book isn't enough to
      kill someone (usually), unless that book is loaded with a brick or
      something similar. You might as well have done the Owen Hart/Mick Foley
      popcorn skit from many years ago - it'd have had the same effect as far
      as punishment to the human body is concerned.

      The WWA (World Wrestling Allstars) are currently doing/finishing off
      their tour of the UK, before crowds that aren't exactly red hot. The
      dates the WWA are working now are the rescheduled ones from earlier this
      year, plus several new ones. Confused? Given that the WWA rescheduled
      the May tour because of poor ticket sales, then why the hell are they
      adding extra dates? Anyway, the WWA have been playing in front of crowds
      like 1,200 (in Brighton), and they even had to cancel as show in
      Nottingham because of poor advance ticket sales (cheers to Dave Meltzer
      for those figures)

      That has to be worrying. On the WWA posters in the Newcastle Arena and
      on local TV adverts, we had the likes of Eddy Guerrero, Scott Steiner
      and Disco Inferno pushed as the big names. Only one of those showed up -
      and that was only to do colour commentary! If you thought that was bad -
      get this. Partnering Disco Inferno on the
      commentary (which is broadcast live in the arena too) was. Andrew
      McManus - the stuttering, mumbling owner of the WWA. For the love of
      D-Lo, who made that call? We all know where Eddy Guerrero went. And for
      Scott Steiner, the WWA was meant to have had two WWE stars as a
      replacement. They were named as Perry Saturn and The Godfather. Given
      that Saturn was released by the WWE before the WWA tour started, and
      that the Godfather pulled out with a knee injury, I think it's safe to
      say that the WWA have been screwed by the WWE here. Nice screw job
      though! (and if you kept track of the WWEs and WWAs in that,

      The FWA lost a big promotional outlet this week when it was announced
      that talkSPORT were axing talkWrestling with immediate effect. The
      official reason (from talkSPORT, anyway) was that ratings were down
      (even though the same person had said weeks earlier that he was pleased
      with the ratings the show was getting, despite it being in that bastion
      of shitty time slots - Saturday nights). This is my view of the
      situation (and yes, it'll probably cost me a few votes in the Columnist
      of the Year poll from the FWA-fans who read this newsletter. and one of
      the show's ex-hosts, who I believe reads this). By anybody's standards,
      having a two-hour phone in broadcast nationwide (even if it is "just"
      the UK) on regular radio is a fantastic achievement. Sadly, in my view,
      with the bulk of the shows staff having a lot of stroke (as in
      ownership, booking, etc) of a British wrestling promotion, it was
      obvious what was going to happen.

      Week in, week out, we got hour after hour of adverts for "British
      wrestling coming near you". When all we got was another FWA show in
      London, sometimes with indy stars like AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn. Despite
      having decent enough segments with people in the know giving recaps on
      the wrestling business outside of the WWE, ultimately, in my book, it
      was the constant advertisement that ruined the show for me. Sure, I
      listened to it virtually every week (but then again, I don't have a life
      - yet!). But a lot of people I know turned off the show they
      affectionately called "FWA Talk". However, if the rumours are true, I'm
      looking for it to come back on Sunday nights in the near future, when
      the departure of a certain host to enter a mayoral election will free up
      a timeslot on the radio station.

      I can't believe the WWE are even TEASING Scott Steiner going to
      SmackDown. Right now, the last thing SmackDown needs is another big name
      - surely Big Poppa Pump should be heading to Raw. The WWE haven't
      decided themselves yet, as BPP is booked to work on both Raw AND
      SmackDown house shows in the next few months. A sign of long-term
      booking? Or merely a sign that the WWE haven't got a fricking clue what
      to do with Steiner?

      Face it - on Raw, he has a natural opponent in HHH (as long as Hunt-ah
      doesn't want to turn face-ah - and that'd be in a heel/'tweener thing).
      When the WWE decide which way Steiner's going, he'll have opponents
      either way in RVD (maybe in a "who'll get hurt the most" match?), HBK,
      Booker T. and you're pushing it. If Steiner was a face (D-Lo help us),
      then maybe we'd see that teased programme with Jericho - unless some
      guys p-ss off the booking crew enough to "earn" a switch from SmackDown.

      I'll finish off this edition with more music. Thanks to all of those who
      asked how I enjoyed the Nickelback gig on November 26th. Despite half a
      dozen blocks of seating being blocked off (reducing the capacity to a
      shade under 10,000), the gig was awesome. From "Woke Up This Morning" to
      "Too Bad" , and "Leader of Men" to "How You Remind Me", Nickelback
      proved that they were anything but dull.

      Props must go to Nickelback drummer Ryan Vikedal, who did double duty
      that night with support-act Default. Default's drummer, Danny Craig, was
      missing from the tour with a lung infection, so Vikedal filled in on the
      sticks for the OTHER Canadian rockers. Given that the first two shows
      saw Default play drum-less, this was definitely worth the hour-long wait
      (the show didn't start 'til 8, despite 7pm being printed on the

      And if you're a reviewer for Kerrang! magazine, then in all honesty you
      can go to hell. Without wanting to start a flame war, I bet the same
      reviewers who gave the gig 2/5 would have given it a lot more if the
      Canadians wore boiler suits, masks, and acted like total f**kwits on

      This week's motto: "You'll never find your pleasure, if you worry about
      your pain" (and if you're wondering, that's a lyric from a Monster
      Magnet song, but the motto still holds true)


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