CANOE Network SLAM!Sports

 
SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
  Dec 22, 2001



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

SHIMMER taping


The Ultimate Warrior


Raw in New Orleans


WrestleMania XXX Main Events


WrestleMania XXX Opening Half


WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony
WWE Hall of Fame Red Carpet


Make-A-Wish party







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT




READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Raw story sinfully stupid
By T.J. MADIGAN -- Calgary Sun
 So much for the upturn in TV ratings.

 In direct contrast to the giant leap in viewership for the previous Monday's steel-cage showdown, this week's Raw dropped almost 15% to a 4.0 rating -- its second-lowest regular rating in about three years.

 Then again, as DDP might say, that's not a bad thing, that's a good thing because if that 15% of viewers had tuned in to see the ridiculous "comedy" skits the rest of us were treated to, they'd probably never watch WWF programming again.

 For those who missed it, I'll briefly recap. Booker T smashed up Steve Austin's truck near the start of Raw, enticing Austin to chase him through the parking lot and off into the city for a series of vignettes that aired throughout the show.

 Stone Cold first caught up with Booker in a bingo hall, causing him to lose the bingo game and flee into a nearby church. The Moral Majority, not to mention the PTA, must've been delighted with the close-up shots of crucifixes against the backdrop of violence and swearing.

 But wait, it gets better.

 Booker then hides in a confessional booth, where he disguises as a priest and is visited by members of the parish. Of course, none of these people seems to notice the cameraman filming them in the booth and reveal all their sins and digressions to the would-be holy man.

 Finally, Stone Cold chases Father Booker into the chapel where the duo are stopped in their tracks by a group of nuns (I'm not making this up!). In the end, Booker T answers the nuns' prayers by giving them a ride to the orphanage while a frustrated Steve Austin gets trapped in conversation with an over-zealous preacher!

 And the real comedy? The fact there's a whole room of suits on the top floor of Titan Tower, racking their brains in the luxury McMahon boardroom, wondering why the 18-34 audience just isn't interested anymore. Here's a memo, guys: Stop treating your viewers like five-year-olds.

 In 1997, the near-bankrupt WWF rocketed to renewed success when it traded its kiddie-friendly formula for an edgier, more-realistic 'attitude.' To quote Vince McMahon, "viewers are tired of having their intelligence insulted."

 On Monday, by reverting back to corny skits and cartoon-ish capers, they're not only killing the stars' heat, they're ignoring the audience that made the company a success and embarrassing the remaining fans back into the closet.

 That's not to say the church segments were without purpose. It's always refreshing to see a storyline play itself out in a non-arena context and it was a unique way to build towards the excellent First Blood match on Thursday's Smackdown.

 On the other hand, there are ways to develop a feud that don't involve the risk of turning off your biggest demographic or losing even more advertisers. Thankfully Smackdown was comparably cheese-free, indicating someone, somewhere, stopped to consider that unnecessary risks probably aren't the smartest idea when your ratings are nearing record lows.

 NON-FICTIONAL FIGHT:

  Rikishi caused major controversy at a HWA event last Wednesday when he broke the script and assaulted his opponent for real.

 The Samoan superstar reportedly became furious when WWF developmental wrestler Russ McCollough accidentally nailed him with a stiff punch during their match. Rikishi retaliated by hitting McCollough with several hard chairshots outside the ring, until the referee ended the match and the two fought to the backstage area. It took several wrestlers and officials to keep them apart.

 REGAL NOSE TO REST:

 William Regal underwent nasal surgery last week, which explains his absence from TV. He'd been bleeding heavily from his nose during most of his recent matches, which led him to agree to go under the knife in mid-December. Regal will remain off television for the holidays as he'll be spending time recuperating in his native England and is expected be back for the highly-anticipated Jan. 7 edition of Raw, which will also see the return-debut of Triple H and the drafting angle, which will separate the WWF into two companies.

 Shawn Stasiak should also be back in action on the same show.

 He was medically cleared to return to the ring and won't be needing knee surgery as previously thought.


Know someone who might be interested in this page? Just type in their e-mail address to send them the URL.

Destination email address:


Your email address: