Welcome to the return edition of the Phat Daily Column. Want some excuses for yesterday's absence? I had a rather big and insane exam to take in the morning, and after I finished that very exam, I had class that same day. Right after class, I had to rush to work. After work, I went over to see the most wonderful person in the entire world, Mrs. Tito. Therefore, I had no access to a computer, whatsoever, until very late last night where I wasn't in a mood to whip up a column.
Time is just killing me anymore. Either that, or whenever I'm online, it's strictly business with the Phat Daily Column, Phat Pharm, reporting news when I can, etc. Hell, I'm so busy, that I can't keep up on the e-mail that well anymore. The only "extra" thing I get to is to change my line up in Anglefan's Fantasy Baseball league, which gets stressful when guys like Mike Mussina throw away 8 runs in 2 innings, or even worse, when Todd Richie throws a 1 hitter and you have him on your bench instead of starting him.
Argh! I will report, though, that I'm working on something relatively big, which I hope to reveal in due time. I won't say anything on the matter, now, but I will act like Tony Shiavone and say "you gotta tune in next week!".
What makes me mad about missing the Friday column was the fact that it's pretty important. Smackdown and Tough Enough are big shows to review. Now if I miss a day like Thursday or Sunday, I'm like "oh well" because those columns involve improvising and a reliance on current events. But to miss a Friday column..... To sort of make up what I should have done on Friday, here are two MINI reviews of the shows I couldn't review yesterday. Cool?
SMACKDOWN: First, we had a lovely interview from ECWCW, with Paul Heyman being the only one who made any sense. Tazz vs. Hardcore Holly was a carbon copy of their match a few weeks ago, but still pleasing to watch. Tazz vs. Tajiri at Invasion? Holy shit, I want tickets! That stuff with the guitar was an absolute riot. It's very pleasing to see how involved Steve Austin is with his new character change. Later on, Vince questioned Austin, asking for the old Austin to come back. Interesting plot..... Good quick match between Lance Storm and Chris Jericho. For the limited time they had, they put on a lot of moves or spots. Rhyno and Kane must enjoy wrestling each other. Rhyno did get the win, this time after dirty Nick Patrick helped. Nick Patrick is the most notorious referee in the history of mankind. How many times will he play a screwy ref in his lifetime? I hope Earl Hebner is ready for his match at Invasion, because Patrick was in fact a former wrestler before he turned referee. As much as I rip on Trish for her pushed up fake boobs, I will say that she's developed into a great all around worker from the time she first entered the WWF. With her limited ability, she still put on a good show with Lita. Funny stuff afterward with Hancock and Wilson hitting on the Hardys. I'm sure Turtle2Hug from the message boards is pissed at that scene. I will say that I was expecting more with Mike Awesome and Jeff Hardy, but the ending was funny with Edge/Christian taking offense to the "awesome" in Mike Awesome's name. Anybody care to take a bet with me on how long Jeff will remain champ? No such thing as a dominant Hardy Champ, besides that silly European Title. The main event wasn't bad, but not great either. Just something about those Undertaker matches that makes it hard to enjoy. The Dinosaur did impress me by his leap over the ropes afterward. Overall entertaining show, which gets a B+ (B plus) in my gradebook.
TOUGH ENOUGH: This week, we got more people tapping out. I wonder if Mtv or the WWF is truly upset at the ratings being possibly lower because nobody is getting cut. Who knows? I think people enjoy human demise, any way they can get it, so I doubt it's a real problem. Bobbie Jo and Victoria gave up this week, for they were in too much pain and they realized that they were in way over their heads for this deal. Again, the WWF should have informed everyone about what they'd be going through, that way, they'd have guys who actually stick around and take the pain. Bobbie Jo had the Playboy deathwish hanging over her, so she had no chance anyway. Later in the show, Stephanie McMahon showed up to take the ladies out to dinner. Funny how caring and sweet she acts when it's not an official WWF show. Could someone be really showing off their acting skills? The guys didn't get squat. My money is now on 2 of the guys winning it, out of Greg, Chris, or Maven. I don't think any of the current girls are that special. Pauline heavily reminded me of Chyna in this episode, for some reason..... The contestants would later go to Smackdown, where they'd possibly be in about 3 years. Darryll will get cut first, no matter how many people he talks to about his problems. Not a bad show. Good stuff by Al Snow this week, who was only being brutally honest with every contestant there.
Ok, now that we've made up one column in 2 very fat paragraphs, on to the PDC!
This week featured drastic changes for the WWF. The WCW Invasion wasn't cutting it, so the WWF put their collective heads together and realized that they had a lot of former ECW wrestlers on their roster, along with Paul Heyman doing announcing. So an ECW Invasion was in order, which eventually led to a big swerve of Shane and Paul joining forces at the end of RAW. However, StePHONY was revealed as the owner, because she LOVES the spotlight.
The WWF ratings went up this week, with RAW going up around 0.1 and Smackdown going up 0.2. The Smackdown ratings jump should be very much pleasing because the ECW Invasion has sparked interest. That's great, and it's a sign that the WWF is finally on the right track after suffering in the storylines for weeks or months.
Instead of holding back, the WWF has decided to run interpromotional matches now, as we saw on RAW and a lot on Smackdown. Many dream matches have occurred, such as Lance Storm versus Chris Jericho. Things only look better on Invasion, which is shaping up to be the best Pay Per View since Wrestlemania 2001 or "X-7", whatever. The 10 man brawl looks to be too one sided, for the WWF has a very stacked team at this point. Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire look to be taking the "Acolyte" test at Invasion, which if you remember the early days of the Dudleys and the quickly ousted Public Enemy, you'll know what I'm talking about. Billy Kidman will take on X-Pac, in a match I'd wish they'd hype more. Tazz will now take on Tajiri, which should be a thriller. In a match fitting for Jerry Lawler to possibly call, Torrie Wilson and Ms. Hancock will take on Lita and Trish Stratus. Don't let Ms. Hancock do a handspring elbow. Referees will also do battle, with WWF Senior Referee Earl Hebner taking on WCW Senior Referee Nick Patrick. Personally, I like the WCW ones better, with Billy Silverman and the man, little Natch, Charles Robinson. I am partial to Teddy Long for the WWF, as I remember his great heel turn in the early 1990s for WCW to eventually manage Doom. Ahhh, Doom.... what a tag team that was.
In other news..... it appears that the big corporation, who currently owns a lot of the ECW trademarks, is now requesting that the WWF stop from using the ECW name on their show. Yikes. I wouldn't doubt that the WWF renames the whole ECW and WCW group, although they would miss using the ECW name, very much, with Eastern fans. WWF locker room is reportedly relaxed from having no Chyna around. Wow, that means I've been right all along? Chyna is possibly doing another Playboy spread, to show everyone the best sex change surgery ever produced, once again!! And remember kiddies, no matter how hard Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan try to make wrestling promotions, just remember that both no longer have Billionaire Ted's wallet to use anymore.
On to the awards.........
Angle is one of the best at carrying a match, as he can take moves and give good clean ones to his opponents. Booker T has looked somewhat sloppy with his kicks lately, hurting the quality of his 2 previous matches. Kurt Angle made Booker T's adjustment to the WWF rings an easy one with this match, showing the WCW champ that he has trust in him as a performer. It will be indeed interesting when Booker T works with Steve Austin.
Some matches were decent in the running, but none had the great amount of time that this one did. Angle vs. Booker T had more importance on it, and it did come through, therefore, the match of the week!
We should salute this title run, for it could be the very last of Acolytes. Faarooq is badly banged up, and it's only a matter of time before he finally retires due to bad knees and some kind of arm injury, which was noticeable on RAW. Bradshaw and Faarooq have been a great team, and a very unlikley duo, as I once stated in a Sunday PDC, I believe. It's great that the WWF gained the maximum benefit from two wrestlers who were thought to be on the cutting blocks, until they tagged up.
The Acolytes head into Invasion against Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire, to which they'll probably force the former Natural Born Thrillers to earn some respect. This week's tag situation was rather weak, as I'm getting sad from the lack of tag action.
They finally did, and everyone can thank the failing WCW Invasion for bringing back the Extreme Revolution. They way the Invasion occurred was fucking badass, though. During the Kane/Jericho vs. Team Canada, har har, Awesome/Storm match, former ECW stars Tommy Dreamer and Rob Van Dam ran in. That prompted 6 WWF stars, who oddly used to work in ECW, to run down to clear the ring. Then, all 6 wrestlers slowly turned around to Kane and Jericho with a sick look. Man, that was just classic. Kane and Jericho received a beatdown like no other, with the elite 10 ECW wrestlers standing tall. Then, in a bigger surprise, Paul Heyman announced that he was behind it, and did a great "shoot" interview to put over his faction.
Great stuff, which was sort of kept quiet. I believe that RFvideo mentioned that Tommy Dreamer kept very quiet about his WWFE debut (under contract by the WWF) at an ECW reunion show in Buffalo, NY. Now the lasting surprise was sort of ruined by Stephanie being announced as the ECW Owner, but at least ECW will get put over with Stephanie in charge of it because she can't ever look bad, ya know.
What made the DDP and Shane swerve even more ridiculous is what happened on the last Smackdown. For some reason, DDP was booked to attack Shane McMahon at the end of the show. Why someone would attack another to create a swerve is unusual to me. This was too Vince Russo and WCW to me.
However, this was done to unite the troops for the ECW-WCW faction, so I guess you have to forget something in advance to get a better storyline. Sure.
4. Booker T: A better 3rd week for the WCW champion, as he had a great opponent to bring out the best in him. Booker is in bad need of a finishing move.
3. Lance Storm: From Calgary..... Lance Storm could be responsible for the guy in the top spot, hmm.... I still wonder why the WWF never made this guy any serious offers when he became a free agent before WCW signed him. This guy is one of the best all around performers, period. Nice to see the WWF giving him some mic time, too.
2. Kurt Angle: The man. Angle, still a little banged up from his match with Shane from King of the Ring, the Olympic Hero made Booker T's WWF life a lot easier on Monday by working with him for a great match. Angle looks to be back as a regular wrestler now, which can only be good news for the WWF with the injury bug going around.
1. Chris Jericho: See Down Below.
In need to fill the 5th spot, the WWF turned to Jericho by default, since any of the other wrestlers were either hurt or have joined team ECW. Jericho was thrown into the Team Canada versus Kane handicap match, which impressed the WWF with his work with Lance Storm, insomuch that Storm vs. Jericho was booked for Smackdown. Their match was very good, although the time was limited. Jericho won the match with the Liontamer or Walls of Jericho, cleanly I might add.
But where will Jericho go after Invasion? For a man who gets a stronger pop in the WWF and a man who sells merchandise, he sure doesn't get much appreciation by the WWF in return. Jericho could be really hurt by the absence of Chris Benoit, who the WWF seemed to enjoy pairing him with now, even though ratings didn't translate for those two as main eventers. Time will tell, but at least recognize that Jericho is at least dependable in terms of health.
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@That will be all for now. I HOPE to be back tomorrow with another edition of the PDC. Just chill until the next episode.
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