Welcome back to the one and only Phat Daily Column, one of the most opinionated columns you'll ever find on the net. Why did I make that statement? Because many take those very opinions as life or way too seriously. But hey, I guess some people just need something to do when they need to take out their aggression on Mr. Tito.
Last night, we were treated to RAW is WAR. Coming in, I had some high hopes that the WWF would deliver a big show in front of one of the best crowds around: Philadelphia wrestling fans. That's my thinking, but theories are meant to be proven wrong.
I just like how a lot of wrestling federations are attempting to chase the WWF, especially the one who is signing all of the WWF leftovers or the ECW scraps that were left unwanted. Sure, we should commend the effort, but the only possible way to truly compete with the WWF is to get a cable contract. Until then, any federation will only get as big as ECW, if that. The WWF, at this point and probably about 5 years, has nothing to worry about when we talk about competition. I say "5 years" because I think that will be the earliest that a federation could convince a cable station to allow wrestling on their channel, and plus, it should be enough time for the asshole parental groups to get bored enough and harass another type of entertainment, which is deemed "not suitable for children".
While we're on the "not suitable for children" part, don't you think that some parents just aren't suitable for children? Sure, today's television and movies have lots of violence, the music has a lot more aggression to it than ever, and the video games have lots of bad content... but did you ever stop and consider that a parent could stop ALL 3 things within their household? Oh wait, they can't think of that... they most form censor groups as an excuse for their bad parenting, and make the WWF as a scapegoat.
Blah. I'm really beating a dead horse on that subject, and I could waste even more time discussing it. On to the PDC.
Where have all of the ECW fans gone? With an exception of a few matches, the Philly crowd was way more filled with pure WWF fans than ECW fans, and that never used to be. Even with a big ECW Invasion angle, ECW fans just weren't there to scream their lungs out for their superstars, but WWF fans sure were there to cheer the Rock's return and other wrestlers on the WWF billing. It's like an end of an era.......
First segment was the switching of Paul Heyman back to color commentator. Awesome! I was beginning to really miss Heyman taking the occasional crack at Jim Ross's personal life, and vice versa. Cole and JR just don't mix well in terms of exciting commentating. Both are good with a heel commentator, but not together. I'm sorry, but Tazz and Chris Jericho's opening speeches were terrible. Even worse, Jericho eliminated Tazz in a very short time. Uh oh, the ECW internet fans will attack because it looks like Tazz is returning to commentating too on Smackdown! Tazz just doesn't have the height that the WWF wants.
Rob Van Dam vs. Tajiri was a good spotfest, but there were a lot of small breaks in between each move. That's typical Rob Van Dam, and I'm sure someone will scream about the pace of the match. I'm also sure someone will yell about the botched moonsault that Rob Van Dam performed, with the jealous wrestlers quickly pointing it out to Vince McMahon or other road agents backstage. For the spots that were hit, there was great bumping or selling on each one. It's just a matter of whether the good outshadows the bad.
And now, the latest firing in the WWFE. Torrie Wilson will definitely take some backstage heat for her performance in the Torrie/Helms vs. Lita/Matt Hardy match. During the match, she had several spots in which she looked confused, but this was nothing compared to the ending. The original ending was Torrie hitting Matt Hardy with a nutshot while he was attempting the Twist of Fate. HOWEVER, Torrie rolled out of the ring, and Matt Hardy had no choice but to give Helms his finishing move. To correct the error, Torrie ran in and hit Matt in the balls, and Helms just quickly got up from the Twist of Fate to get the cover. Back in WCW, there were many who criticized Torrie for not actually having a clue what went on in a wrestling ring. Well tonight, on centerstage with millions watching, she screwed up and she probably heard about it backstage.
So let's see here... A blown spot by RVD and a blown finish by Torrie Wilson. I take it that these are two good examples of the WWF guys complaining about the huge influx of ECW/WCW talent recently.
The next match was the rematch from Smackdown; Booker T vs. Kurt Angle for the WCW World Heavyweight Title. As far as matches goes, I'd say that this one was the worst out of the 3 matches done by these two. It just didn't have the flare or the spark like the first two, or the meaning, really. They had a lot more weardown moves in this match, too, which probably hurt it too. But anyway, Booker T wins the title, thus putting heat on both Austin and Booker T at the same time, which is a good move. The more you make Booker T a heel, the more an eventual Rock vs. Booker T match will pay off down the road. That's a dream match right there.
Edge/Christian vs. Lance Storm/Kanyon was a decent match by all accounts, but it lacked a storyline to back it which caused it to not have the excitement that it should. Hell, the Philly fans were chanting "BORING" at several points during the match, which you could see Kanyon looking around when noticing. Come on WWF.......
This is why the matches aren't getting any heat. The WWF thinks that just because they have this Invasion Angle, that they can just book any match they want. The only way that formula works is if the match is extra good, which isn't too often. They need to build some storylines or angles between the WWF and ECW/WCW wrestlers to build up these matches. The crowds are NOT popping. I was at Smackdown, live, and none of the fans were exactly thrilled with the WWF vs. ECW/WCW matches done, and from listening to RAW last night, hardly any were cheering for them in Philly.
And don't think that by adding a 20 minute interview that it will solve a problem. No, because those interviews involve the top tier guys, who have lots of time to develop their storylines. Hey, that's why they actually have fans into their matches. Now if the WWF did that for their midcard, they'd be set. But noooooooo... Because of all of the ridiculous jealousy in the WWF right now, we can't have any of the midcarders looking good on the early parts of a show, which is funny, because a better all around show will gain higher ratings, rise buyrates, sell tickets, and bring in more revenue for the WWF!
Ahem. I told you that X-Pac would eventually get the best of Billy Kidman. In a match that was unannounced before the show started, and having NO real build up to the Title vs. Title match, X-Pac beat Billy Kidman to become the unified midget champ. It was a decent match, too, but there was no real build up for anyone to give two shits about a Title vs. Title match!!! Maybe if they had the guys challenge each other for a Title vs. Title match like last week or even earlier in the show, then maybe it would have been worth something.
Dudleys vs. Kane/Undertaker in a Tables Match... ooooooh, we haven't seen that before. With the huge-ass roster that the WWF currently contains, you'd figure they'd be able to create new match ups (using storylines to build them up, of course). But no, they just go back to the past and use what might have worked a few months ago. I really like how Nick Patrick cheats in the tables matches. He's truly one of the best referees, ever. Hell, allow me to make a list......
-MR. TITO'S Top 5 REFEREE LIST!-
5. Mark Curtis: The late Brian Hildebrand was a great referee, who really had a lot of enthusiasm for the matches he called.
4. Teddy Long: Great NWA/WCW referee in his day, until he turned bad. Became a WWF ref in the late 1990s, and has pretty much returned to form.
3. Nick Patrick: Longtime WCW referee, and is the best at playing a crooked ref.
2. Earl Hebner: Best WWF referee, period. He adds that extra drama to a big match on the final count.
1. Tommy Young: The top NWA referee back in the 1980s who was always on top of his game.
I would have put Tom Zenk as a referee, but I couldn't spare myself the humiliation. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the Undertaker/Kane vs. Dudleys match. I really hope that the Diamond Dallas Page versus the Undertaker blows off at Summerslam, because two months of this feud involving Sara has been way too dragged out. A FINGER OF SHAME warning goes out to the WWF if they have Sara turn on the Undertaker in favor of DDP. Swerves, like that, have been done way too much, thank you.
Oh by the way, doesn't Sara look like she was shaped after a Barbie doll? You know, the extremely skinny hips and the extra large chest? Or at least the Barbies from 5 years ago or whatever, for Mattel has made some recent "politically incorrect" Barbies lately, with wider hips, I think. Shit, I don't know, I don't collect those things, I just remember it being in the news!
Well, the Rock returned, and as predicted, the Rock did not favor either the WWF or the "Alliance", although he did say "Finally, the Rock, has come back to the WWF". I'm thinking that when he said "the WWF", he meant the shows or the wrestling world with all of the WWF, ECW, and WCW wrestlers involved. But you never know. Philly fans popped for the Rock huge, showing that ECW has been out of their blood for a while.
So this is the big payoff folks. This is why the WWF totally slacked off in the months of May and June with the terrible Austin/Triple H vs. Kane/Undertaker feud to coast into July 30th with the Rock's big return saving the day. However, along the way, the WWF realized that they could no longer coast because their storylines and their main event power bored fans enough to change the channel or do something else on a Monday Night. So in reality, had the WWF put a lot of better effort into May and June, the WWF would be in a hell of a lot better shape today for the Rock's return, as opposed to what has really happened with the ECW/WCW Invasion becoming a quick fix to the downsliding ratings.
LAST WORD: Talk about coasting.... there were NO angles or storylines to build up any of the midcard matches, as the show was only focused on the Rock's return or how a McMahon was going to respond to it. Sure, that's intriguing, but aren't interpromotional matches supposed to have major heat and interest in them right now? Obviously, but that's not the case because no storylines are being build around the individual midcard matches, which forces Philly crowds to shout "BORING" in the middle of a match like Edge/Christian vs. Kanyon/Storm. I'm giving this show a
-Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Rock
-Undertaker vs. Diamond Dallas Page
The Rock may have said "WWF", but I still think he'll remain an outsider or a rebel, going against both Angle and Austin. DDP vs. Undertaker should finally happen at Summerslam, but you never know if the WWF bookers would want to drag it out another month. Ugh.
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@That's all for today. I'll be back, tomorrow, with a healthy serving of Daily Apples and some Ratings Analysis to see if the Rock's return really meant anything to the WWF. See you tomorrow!
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