Welcome to the FRIDAY edition of Mr. Tito's Phat Daily Column. Today, we'll review Smackdown, which comes off momentum from RAW and had a few big things for itself. Did I think that this show kept the WWE ball rolling? Find out down below.
There's a recent buzz about online wrestling simulators going on lately. With that being said, I myself, have tried one of these and found it to be rather interesting. The one I tried was EWR or Extreme Warfare Revenge, which you can download at http://www.tanc-online.co.uk/ew/. The way it's set up is that you can own and operate any of the current federations out there, such as WWA, XWF, NWA-TNA, or the WWE to see if your ideas can make them successful.
Well, to put my money where my mouth is, I selected the WWE, and immediately "cut the fat" out of the WWE, meaning releasing lots of talent that I never liked on WWE. Yeah, that goes against my "I don't want anybody to lose their job" stance, but this is a simulator, so who cares for right now? Anyway, I also depushed the hell out of some wrestlers. So as I did that, I'd attend booking meetings where it was reported that X-Pac, Big Show, and Undertaker were ALWAYS unhappy with their demotions, insomuch that they wanted to leave. LOL!
You can also dip into the talent market, so I brought back Steve Austin and actually signed Sting to my company, while pushing many of my personal favorites to the main event, such as Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Booker T, and others. Over the past few weeks, I booked shows, made adjustments, etc to see if I could improve business. Well, I did all I thought would make it more successful, and the ratings remained the same throughout, with no increases or decreases.
But you can check that out at your own free will. EWR isn't the only simulator out there, as there are many you can play. Maybe I'll check out those some day, but I just find it interesting that someone would go to great lengths to produce one like that. Computer programming is a BITCH to learn, and it's even worse to perfect. Anyone who takes time to make a program of this sort should be given a rather large medal for their efforts.
Smackdown review time. On to the PDC!
The first match of the night was Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry. That's two 1996 Olympic competitors in that ring, by the way. What other sports organization or whatever can brag about that? Too bad one is an impressive athlete who made a great adjustment to the WWE, while the other is a failed Olympic powerlifter who still can't wrestle after 6 years. The match made Henry look like he was tough or something, as the booking had Angle having all kinds of problems with Henry. Man, that $10 million over 10 years contract the WWE signed for Henry is REALLY paying off. Hell, the WWE wouldn't even let Angle beat Henry, as Brock Lesnar ran in and attacked Henry. I guess they are planting seeds for Angle vs. Brock down the road, but still, it's Mark Freakin' Henry, so why not let Angle pin him?
Backstage, we now have Stacy as Stephanie's go-for. Hey, it beats screwing around with a guy in his late 50's. Steph would get roses from Eric Bischoff, awwww, saying that "Smackdown's loss is RAW's gain". Man, they are raiding the rosters quickly, aren't they?
Oh my God! Tell me the WWE didn't just run a Rikishi vs. Albert match. Damn this match sucked, and it's been bad the several other times they've tried to run it. Albert still looks nasty in tights, and Rikishi was his own repetitive self. Looks like the renewed, as if it wasn't continuous, Rikishi push is in effect since he beat Albert very cleanly. Henry, Albert, and Rikishi involved with the first 2 matches. Man, that's no way to keep the RAW momentum going.
I don't know what the point was to having Edge starting a countdown to his match with Chris Jericho lately. Kind of odd to me.
A third no-name match in a row for Smackdown happened, as D'Von took on Val Venis. Big deal. What was it tonight, "Use too much Medical tape night" here in the WWE? Holly, Bautista, and Val Venis were all taped up for some reason or another. Especially Val, who had both forearms taped up. Boring match to me here, as I personally don't care for anybody in that ring. Just my own personal preference, and not everyone's. I just realized that both Bautista and Brock Lesnar are on the same show. Two OVW hosses, and it looks like Smackdown has become the OVW, cruiserweight, and tag team show.
I thought it was clever to have Kurt Angle talking to "Eric", as he has a brother in real life (and he's a WWE developmental talent, too) named Eric Angle, in the angle that he was possibly talking to ERIC Bischoff.
Finally, a match with some big names in it. Rock and Hulk Hogan took on Lance Storm and Christian. See, this is why Hogan is great in the tag division. He's now in the midcard, thereby fighting midcard wrestlers. Hogan always gets loud responses, so his opponents will get lots of heat against him. Add the Rock to the match, then the heels are very hated, which helps a team like Christian and Storm. While not a great workrate match, it was an entertaining one, although it came to a DQ finish when Lesnar hit the F5 on Hogan. Uh oh, it looks like we'll see Hogan vs. Lesnar next week. I'm sure Hogan will be generous to put the "Next Big Thing" over, here in 2002.
LOL at John Cena ripping on Test's horribly kept teeth. I didn't think they'd ever use that as promo material. From what I've heard, Test's teeth are just NASTY, as if he didn't brush them for years or something?
Rey Mysterio debuted against Chavo Guerrero tonight. I thought Rey looked good, although he appeared somewhat nervous at the same time. I'm a big fan of his new entrance music, but I guess it beats any of the Filthy Animal themes. I'm very glad to see him back, and I don't think he bulked up THAT much. He just looks more cut than ever. At the end of his WCW tenure, he seemed to have some extra bulk to him. Now, he's just more cut in muscle tone than ever, at least that's what it appeared to me. I didn't see the muscle mass getting in the way of his performance. Rey-Rey is just so agile, and he got a "wow" out of me when he kicked Chavo on his rope spin trick that he does to psych out opponents on the outside.
Kevin Nash 2002, I mean Test, threw around Rey in the back, and into a wall as well. What's with making Mysterio into a lawndart, throwing him at walls in professional wrestling?
Eh to the John Cena victory against Test. How can you appreciate a "big win" when the heel and tenured since 1998 wrestler, Test, immediately attacks Cena after his victory. I hate the "get his heat back" method the WWE always does for after a wrestler loses a match. Such BS does nothing for the person who won the match. It only holds them down.
I really wonder how Jericho can manage himself to be a wrestler and a musician at the same time. Amazing.
Our main event was Chris Jericho vs. Edge in a cage match. Good and satisfactory television main event, which had lots of crowd support. Hell, the Indiana crowd was hot throughout the night, so credit to them for it! Edge won via climbing over the cage. Afterward, Team Canada ran down and attacked Edge, but then John Cena and eventually Rey Mysterio made the save. Rey-Rey did a nice spot from the top of the cage that I bet 2 wrestlers didn't mind doing, since Mysterio is so damn light to land on them. Afterward, Cole hyped Cena, Edge, and Mysterio as the "future of Smackdown". Hmm, interesting. Cena needs a gimmick!
And then, an added reason to watch RAW. Stephanie would get a call, saying that Eric Bischoff was in the parking lot. He was, and he taunted Steph that the person was in his limo. Bischoff didn't reveal who it was, and drove off, which will definitely create LOTS of internet discussion on who the "sell out" actually was. I say it could be Kurt Angle, despite him denying it at the end, as there could have been nobody in the limo. I doubt it's Hulk Hogan, given the fact that Hogan might be facing Brock Lesnar next week. Maybe Bautista?
LAST WORD: I thought Brock Lesnar was built up much better on this show, as they had a hyping promo about him and his attack on Hogan was nice for some extra heat. Stephanie wasn't too bad, either, as now we are having some slow intrigue on who is jumping ship, instead of doing it that night to keep things interesting. I thought the wrestling part of the show wasn't up to par last night, as it was if the star power just wasn't there. The Cage Match main event and Rey vs. Chavo were both good television bouts, while Hogan/Rock vs. Team Canada 3 was entertaining, but the rest of the matches stunk. Especially the first 3, which lacked wrestlers to care about, in my opinion, besides Angle, who was made to look bad last night. I'll give it a
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@Not sure if I'll have a weekend column or not. Until the next PDC, just chill till the next episode.
Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.