Welcome to another wonderful edition of the Phat Daily Column. Between typing news and this column, my hands are about to fall off. Anyway, for today's column, we'll just BS about ramdom wrestling topics and then get to PART 6 of the NES Wresting History, where you'll see a review of WWF Wrestlemania Challenge for 1990.

Here's a story for you: the other day at work, a redneck/hillbilly type couple walked in. One of them had a really beat up Steve Austin shirt, so like the asshole I strive to be, I decided to mess with their heads and I said "so, you folks like wrestling?". The husband or boyfriend of the couple said "yeah! we can't wait to attend Monday Night RAW on March 25th in Wheeling!". Little did they know that the show in Wheeling, WV was going to be the first Monday houseshow in years, as the WWF split will occur after Wrestlemania. RAW will actually be at Penn State on March 25th, while the rest of the WWF roster wrestles on the Wheeling Houseshow card.

Knowing probably more insider information than I should, I tried to explain to the couple that the Wheeling WWF event WAS NOT a televised event and I tried to explain the WWF split situation to them. Well, they didn't buy it, and pretty much laughed at me for insisting that the Wheeling houseshow wasn't going to be Monday Night RAW. I hope they make a bunch of signs and come up with special ways to get on television, only to find out that someone tried to warn them ahead of time.

Ah well. There's a fine line between fans who attempt to read the insider news, and those who just watch whatever comes on television and could care less about who backstabs who backstage. I admire anyone who just ignores the insider part of wrestling and just enjoys the product for what you can actually see. Maybe one day, I can get back to that point, too.

Let's see here... I suscribe to Meltzer's newsletter, which is so inside every federation, it's insane! I read all of the information that comes about on the internet, which is a lot. I listen to various audio shows, and I read books on past backstage happenings. So really, I probably know more information than I should when it comes to behind the scenes. Whereas the folks I saw at work probably just enjoy what they see on television, and probably don't know what backstage cancers Hall, Hogan, and/or Nash could be. I do, which puts a negative spin on whenever I see them in wrestling, always.

Anyway, time to continue what probably overexposes me to wrestling, on to the PDC!

~DAILY APPLES~

-Just reading about the WWA and XWF promotions, a clear lightbulb came over my head. Why not merge those companies? Both feds have holes that are about to become beyond repair, as the XWF can't get a television station and the WWA will soon have problems with their Pay Per Views. Plus, both feds have problems committing talent, especially when Big Brother WWF has a watchful eye on both. If they merged, then they could combine resources and keep needed talent under contract. Of course, if they did merge, then who would book the shows? In the XWF, it's Jimmy Hart and Kevin Sullivan, while in WWA, it's Jeremy Borash and Randy Savage. All 4 men can't write wrestling shows up to today's standards.

Still, I don't see either the WWA or the XWF gaining any momentum to become big in the United States market. Just no way. Even if the XWF makes a deal with Ted Turner, what will Turner do to make the company big? Throw millions at it like he did for WCW? It took him a good 7 years to get WCW up to Vince's level, and that's off of sheer luck that Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were available at the time and for SOME of the competitive blood running through Eric Bischoff's veins. Besides, Turner is getting old, you know... Also, I don't really see Vince McMahon taking any crap from Turner a second time around. If Ted gets into the business again with the XWF, Vince will be much more agressive towards him than to let him gradually build into a big company.

-On the RAW front, as of this writing, no RAW ratings have come out due to the President's Day holiday. I'm VERY curious to see how the Hogan/Rock segment affected the ratings. For the most part, I've seen mostly positive opinions about the angle, although many agree that the ambulance attack was a tad overdone. I mean, that's just an injury that would KILL someone, let alone give someone a few weeks off. But the in-ring angle, for the most part, was enjoyed by everyone. Hell, I marked out for it, and I'm not the biggest fan of both wrestlers.

Rock versus Hogan could very well shoot up the Wrestlemania buyrate to a NEW record, no doubt. That's a damn dream match of many wrestling fans, and I've seen at least several wrestling publications list that as a dream match (or they'd list Austin vs. Hogan). My only concern is that it could overshadow the World Title match between Chris Jericho and Triple H. But I guess it doesn't matter, because face it: a card headlined with Triple H vs. Chris Jericho won't outdraw a card with the Rock vs. Hulk Hogan. That's the damn truth, no matter how blind or ignorant you are.

NES Wrestling History

Wrestlemania Challenge

You'd figure that after the horrible Wrestlemania game, the first WWF NES game, the WWF would learn not to embarrass themselves with a shitty game. You'd hope that they'd learn not to have crappy moves, mindless computer opponents who just wander around the ring, etc, etc, etc.

Nope. They didn't learn. This game is basically as bad as the original Wrestlemania game, with only a few exceptions. The graphics are the same as the original, concerning the wrestlers, but the improvement is the detail of the ring. The ackward positioning of the ring is puzzling though. The sound is basically the same, with wrestler's themes playing during the matches. The moves are the same, with the exception of moves off the ropes and the new way to run. The computer AI is still as stupid as it was in the first Wrestlemania, as your opponent will still wander around the ring, hopelessly, until you walk near them.

All of these changes in one year?!? Yecch! The gameplay modes are different, though, and the thought somewhat counts. First, in one player mode, you can wrestle a singles match, tag match, or a 3 on 3 Survivor Series match. The tag matches are weak though. Your partner is out side the ring on the floor instead of on the edge of the apron. Very tacky. Tags aren't very easy to make, either. The Survivor Series match is the best of 3 falls, and it's really not that exciting.

You could also play one on one with a friend in a singles match. Oh boy, big deal there! You're probably better off throwing in Blades of Steel or any other decent 2-player NES game than this crap. You can also tag up with friend to face the computer for some exciting tag action (sarcasm).

One "odd" feature I found in Wrestlemania Challenge was the character selection. The WWF stars you can choose are Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Big Bossman, Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, Brutus Beefcake, Ravishing Rick Rude, Ultimate Warrior, "Macho King" Randy Savage, and YOURSELF. When I say YOURSELF, I mean there's a character called YOURSELF. I guess that means you, the player. That's so goofy. I believe the future WWF NES games do that as well. It's like you're actually wrestling your favorite WWF superstars! Oh sure.... Take a look at the WWF roster for this game. Ironic that many of the wrestlers, with the exception of Rick Rude, were Hogan pals or individuals he didn't mind. Hmm....

A couple oddball things... You can actually jump off the top rope in this game. It's very funny, too, because the wrestler gets big-time air and appears to actually change direction towards their opponent in mid-air. You can also jump out of the ring whenever you like, but good luck getting back into the ring, because thanks to the angle of the ring, it's hell to come back into the ring. I mean HELL!

LAST WORD: Yuck! Since this game hardly made any drastic improvements over it's 1989 game, I'll gladly give it a

D+

(D Plus), a lower grade than the Wrestlemania game. This is the top promotion back then, and they can't even produce a good game to promote it. Very, very sad.

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@That's all for today. I warn you that I might not have any PDCs up for the next few days. Thursday is a busy day for me as always, but for Friday, I'll be out of town and taking an exam that's a requirement to possibly get into graduate school. So if Mr. Tito is scarce for a few days, don't say there wasn't a warning. :)

Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.

Mr. Tito 1998 - 2002 Exclusive to LordsofPain.net