Welcome back to the Phat Daily Column. The ratings are in, with some surprising results as well. Lots of news flying around as well with some of the WCW wrestlers signing the releases. Also on today's column, I have brought back a rare feature to the PDC, so enjoy. Enough small talk, on to the PDC!!!

Ratings Analysis

NITRO

First Hour: 3.6
Second Hour: 2.6
Composite: 3.1

RAW is WAR

First Hour: 6.7
Second Hour: 6.9
Composite: 6.8

HEAD to HEAD

RAW: 6.8 Tito's Prediction: 6.4
Nitro: 2.6 Tito's Prediction: 2.8

-Well, let's see here. The WWF shot up after what was their best pay per view in a long time, and WCW stayed the same. It's obvious that this was all carried over from the Rumble, as the WWF was getting low sixes before. The real challenge will be for the WWF to keep this momentum going. As for WCW, they improved a little in their first hour, but dropped in the second hour. The booking, in my opinion, from last Nitro was decent, but it can be improved. But of course, they are doing the best with the limited wrestlers that they have due to injuries/walk outs. I just hope that WCW's rating doesn't continually go down, because if it does, the WWF might get lazy due to lack of competition.

WCW

-Perry Saturn officially stated on his website, PerrySaturn.com, that he has officially been released from WCW. What are his options? I've heard about lots of talk with ECW about a return, as that's where I personally feel would be the best for him. Although I'm a big Saturn mark from Eliminator days, I just don't see him becoming anything big in the WWF. He certainly has the wrestling ability, but his character would fit better in ECW. Maybe if he goes to ECW this time around, he can prove to him that he's not just a tag team wreslter like they thought he was.

-Also, Chris Benoit has finally signed the release to get his full release from WCW. What's next for him? Some say Japan, but I say the WWF. He would be crazy not to go there now, because the addition of him would really help pad the WWF roster. Benoit, however, is very well respected in Japan and it seems like his best move financially. That's Japan though. Not to knock Japan, as it has some fabulous wrestling promotions, but many American wrestlers prefer the US market for exposure. Benoit would go to the WWF to get that exposure, and slowly climb to the top. Besides, you don't know how bad I want to see a Chris Benoit vs. Steve Blackman match where the winner gets charisma.

-The thing that gets me is the ONLY clause for the two's releases. The clause states that they can't make any negative statements towards WCW. What the hell would WCW do if either one just did a shoot interview on how bad WCW was to them? Can they sue them for using negative comments toward them? Oh please. However, they SHOULD abide by it because WCW was very nice to give the wrestlers their FULL releases. That's enough where I would give some respect not to say anything.

-Some people are craving to know what happened to Bobby Duncum Jr. I could care less, as he was a great wrestler in my mind. Rest in peace Bobby. I just hope no critics jump all over wrestling for his death.

WWF

-Oh my, the Smackdown tapings were delayed until tonight due to heavy snow in the Baltimore area. It's the safe thing to do, as now the WWF production team has one day to edit and put together the show. This isn't the worst weather incident for the WWF, as I can recall one night where a big storm knocked out the power at an arena that the WWF was holding a pay per view at. The WWF was nice enough to return 2 days later and re-do the pay per view for the fans in that area. I can remember one match, which happened when television fans weren't watching. It was Savio Vega vs. The Ringmaster, or should I say Stone Cold Steve Austin in a four corners match. The first PPV match, Savio won, so on RAW, Ted Debiase said that he would leave the WWF if Savio won at the second PPV. Savio indeed won that one as well, and thus you have Ted showing up with the NWO months later. Good stuff back then.

-From Calvin's report earlier, you saw that Terry Funk was released from the WWF. That's pretty classy of the WWF, as they could have busted WCW's balls for it the whole time. Many were saying that the WWF was using Funk to pressure WCW to release Flair, but in the end, it shows that the WWF can be nice at times too. They could have pressed legal action upon either Funk or WCW, but they didn't. WCW should one up that favor somehow, and maybe they did by giving the disgruntled "future of wrestling" their releases.

.....It's time once again to get all aboard the

Mr. Tito's Phat Video Review

It's back folks! This is the first of 2 that I will be reviewing this week, and it is called "Lords of the Ring: Superstars and Superbouts". It's a video organized by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and it was made in 1985. It reviews the best of wrestling around that point with some very good insight. On to the review...

Lords of the Ring

The whole one hour is narrated by the great Gordon Solie and by THEN Senior Editor of PWI, Bill Apter. Both had some excellent insight to the wrestling world, and to the matches reviewed on the tape. This tape was loaded with some very rare matches that you might not find anywhere else. What made me completely mark out was the Kerry Von Erich vs. Flair bouts. They had the great match where Von Erich defeated Flair somewhere in Texas, and the re-match between the two in Japan where Flair regained his world title just 19 days later. Also on the show, they featured a classic bout between Fritz, Kevin, and David Von Erich vs. the Fabulous Freebirds. I remember that match up distinctly from the days when World Class was on ESPN everyday at 3 when I would come home from school. Oh to be young again!

One match I didn't expect to see on the tape was the actual match between Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman. I was shocked when I saw it, because I've never seen it before. I must say that seeing Andy act and how he was shouting in the interview in the back, that Jim Carrey did one hell of an acting job during the wrestling scenes. The whole tape had a bunch of wrestlers that I haven't seen in a while, like everyone's favorite, the Missing Link. They also featured many younger wrestlers at the time, like Ricky the Dragon Steamboat. They had the Flair match where he defeated Harley Race in the cage for the title, and the also had the most feared tag team at the time, the Road Warriors on the tape. Hawk had his odd mohawk puffed out. Classic.

My overall impression of this tape is that it was a great collection of great matches and features on certain wrestlers. PWI did a great job, but there is one concern. The WWF was up and coming in those days, and they only mentioned them once. I suppose the WWF was pricks then by not letting anyone use their footage like they do today. The whole tape was mainly classic NWA wrestling and World Class. My grade for this one is an

A-

for a good watch. It's highly recommended if you are a new wrestling fan and you would like to see a good collection of the old stuff. I also recommend it to the old school wrestling fans too, as it is a very good review of some of wrestling's finest back then.

@That's it for today. I have Sting: Back in Black in hand, and ready to watch for the second Video review, as I'm hoping to bring it to you either Thursday or Friday. Hopefully. Well, that's all the goodies I have for you today. I'll be back tomorrow, bright and early again, to keep the ball rolling known as PDC. So just chill, till the next episode.

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Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.

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