Welcome to the Weekend edition of the Phat Daily Column. Today, we'll do the "Week in Review", as I'll take a look at the past week's news and events, and then give my top 5 wrestlers and the usual cheesy awards. Along with the television show reviews, it's one of my more enjoyable columns to write or type.

NWO Back in Black VHS video review comes at you on Wednesday. I'm a bit disturbed at how many wrestling books are coming out very soon, although I might decide to avoid the WWF controlled books. Sure, they are well put together, but it doesn't speak the truth or in their own true words like say a DDP book or even Bill Goldberg's book. Mick Foley's books are the only exception to the heavy WWF editing or allowing a wrestler to put it in their own words. I have yet to read Gary Michael Capetta's book yet...

I'll tell you what, Wrestlemania 18 for the Gamecube looks fantastic. I'm hoping that the game's control makes it fun, much like the N64 THQ games, which were a blast. Now will I purchase a Gamecube for this game? Probably not, as I need to save money right now, and plus, I've gone down that road of overspending for video games before. Now maybe if the Gamecube puts out Conker's, then maybe I'll purchase one... If you don't know what I'm talking about, rent or somehow buy "Conker's Bad Fur Day" for the N64, which is one of the most fantastic games, ever.

On to the PDC..

Apples Per Day

-MONDAY-

The only real news produced out of Monday was the signing of Francine by NWA - Total Nonstop Action. Francine is most famous for her role as "head cheerleader" for many ECW superstars, mainly the Franchise, Shane Douglas in the late 1990's. She has had some talks with the WWE before, but they always fell through. NWA - TNA, in the search for finding anybody with name value, picked her up. NWA also picked up another former ECW valet in Elektra and former WCW and WWF valet Alicia, whom most people remember as Ken Shamrock's television sister, Ryan Shamrock. Will their name value help create buys? We'll see, as it's very apparent that from the press releases, NWA-TNA is hoping that internet fans will remember those individuals.

The WWE gave some effort towards RAW this week... Show started out with Chris Benoit making his WWE return, by saluting his Edmonton fans. Flair let him on the show since it was in his hometown, and Vince McMahon would later allow it since Benoit is not officially active yet. Eddie Guerrero would come down, ripping Benoit about who was the best in the Radicalz stable, etc. Before Benoit could attack his old friend, Ric Flair called security on him. Kevin Nash challenged his nWo counterparts to win or else, and they responded by pretty much squashing their opponents. Nash would later come after Goldust after his match with PDC favorite, Crash Holly.

Terri won the Hardcore Title by pinning a knocked out Steven Richards during an interview. However, Steven won it back by rolling her up and letting everyone see her beaver. Speaking of Richards, my good buddy Krueges said that I looked like Right to Censor Steven Richards at my graduation Friday night, where I received my bachelors degree. I wore a short sleeved white shirt with a tie, and my hair is somewhat like his (somewhat). Tommy Dreamer drank some tobacco juice (yecch!), and then got pounded by the Undertaker. Way to use that Undisputed champion on both shows, guys.

Brock Lesnar won a hard fight against Bubba Ray Dudley. I'm starting to like Bubba as a singles wrestler, especially with those quality Dusty Rhodes elbows. Lesnar won after Heyman tried to trip Bubba, distracting him enough to get sinched in the Brockbomb or Brockslam, or whatever they've named it.

The bout of the night, and probably one of the best matches this year was Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam. I figured that their feud would lead to this match, and both were game for this match. Sick, sick bumps occurred in this match, especially that sunset flip done by Guerrero on Rob Van Dam off the top of the ladder. OUCH!!! Rob Van Dam would win it cleanly, and then Guerrero would get attacked by Steve Austin. Then, out of the crowd, came Chris Benoit, who actually turned on Austin. Man, if they somehow get Benoit on RAW, many feuds with Austin between the 2 Radicalz will be awesome and a much needed boost for that show.


-TUESDAY-

Usually, the RAW rating comes out on Tuesday evening. However, it came out on Thursday afternoon. The Memorial Day holiday should have bumped it up one day, but for a longer delay? RAW scored a 3.7 rating, which is the same as last week. Blame whatever you want, when the WWE adds good effort to a show, it should at least go into the 4.0's. Instead, it remained the same as last week. It's very clear that wrestling fans are either burned out from the product or sick of its current direction. Something, other than hotshotting main events, putting wrestler's bodies on the line (Edge is now injured) is NOT the way to go.

The so-called "NWA Board of Directors" have decided to strip Dan Severn of the NWA World Heavyweight Title, citing that he's not able to show up for the Huntsville, AL Pay Per View show for NWA - Total Nonstop Action. I'm assuming that this was coming anyway. Severn probably wants nothing to do with the Jarrett owned promotion, and with the NWA fully backing Jarrett in his efforts to start his own company with the NWA name, the title would have been stripped from Severn no matter what. Of course, Jarrett could have created his own title, but hey, he'll now have the lineage of many great champs who have held that title before.


-WEDNESDAY-

Poor Maven actually broke his leg at the Smackdown tapings Tuesday night. Just as he was slowly getting better from wrestling on Smackdown on a weekly basis, shit happened. Now, after probably being out for 2 months, he'll have to slowly earn his way back up to the Smackdown show.

Velocity and Confidential appear to be hits, FROM THE START. Velocity did a 1.1 rating, while Confidential, in the 11 pm till Midnight slot, did a 1.3 rating. That's already better than what the crappy Excess was doing, as I question why the WWE did that show in the first place. I'm curious to know how long the WWE can keep Confidential an interesting show with its worked interviews and features on wrestlers. I also wonder if they are using it as a way to bring back Shawn Michaels to the WWE.

Top WWE writer, Brian Gerwertz will now apparently head RAW, while Paul Heyman seems to be heading Smackdown's creative team. Let's hope a power struggle occurs, as competition can only improve both shows. Of course, Heyman is a manager on RAW, and Heyman will be control of Gerwertz's "boyz" on Smackdown. Now that could be interesting. One thing to note though... Stephanie McMahon, the most ignorant person in the way of wrestling show creativity, will oversee both WWE creative teams, while Vince McMahon, which is understood, will make all final decisions concerning storylines.

The NWA-TNA press releases keep coming in... they announced that on their first Pay Per View show, a battle royal will be held to determine the new NWA World Heavyweight champion. My suggestion is to rip off the Royal Rumble format instead. Also, the NWA-TNA signed independent sensation, Low Ki. Low Ki keeps getting overlooked by the WWE for his stiff style in his matches, as the WWE would like their wrestlers to act like it hurts, not make it hurt.


-THURSDAY-

I like the signing of Joel Gertner to the NWA-TNA. Not that it will help NWA-TNA instantly become successful, but just hearing Gertner's famous lines again will be great. Throughout the years, he's easily one of the most funniest wrestling personalities around. The speech he made in Orlando and the fantastic introductions to the Dudley Boyz will never be forgotten by me.

Just to show you the overall interest in the WWE right now, both Forceable Entry and the Tough Enough 2 soundtracks are off the top 100 albums for Billboard. In the past, WWF albums, such as the theme ones, would stay on the Billboard charts for a while. Forceable Entry did well in its debut at #3, but has since fallen ever since the debut. Tough Enough 2 hasn't done well on the charts, whatsoever, as it came out in a period of decline for the WWE. Plus, it's not that good of a CD.

Smackdown was crap surrounding a great main event... Horrible start with the Chuck & Suck versus Rico and Rikishi match, where Rikishi and Rico retained in a fluke win. Argh, not another match!!! Tajiri is insanely jealous of Maven kissing all over Torrie Wilson, but bad luck can happen, as Maven is now injured to screw up that storyline. Hogan looks to be fighting Kurt Angle at King of the Ring 2002. Can Angle carry Hogan to a watchable match? God, I hope so.

Undertaker and Triple H were boasted as putting over talent on Smackdown. Huh? A heel Undertaker didn't sell that well for Randy Orton, and he ended up squashing him at the end. It took lots of interference for Triple H to lose, which does nothing for Test in the long run. Typical WWE, which is expected by now.

Great main event. Many in the WWE should take a look at how willing Angle is to put over up and coming talent, instead of the arrogant ways that many top WWE wrestlers protect their spots. It's so sad... I'm curious to see how long Edge's push will last, or how long it will take for him to get into a program with the Undertaker and be embarrassed.

In Tough Enough 2, the winners were Linda and Jackie. Linda won, probably since she's improved so much over the course of time, and Jackie won from her determination. Jake shot himself down by telling Kevin Dunn that he's a slow learner, and Kenny's immaturity probably did him in. The show had a bad and slow start, but it ended better than I thought.


-FRIDAY-

Smackdown did a final rating of 3.3, down from 3.6 last week. NOT GOOD. It just goes to show you that if you don't make a great show all around, you'll get burned. The wrong talent on Smackdown is obviously getting pushed, and yet nothing appears to be done about this bad situation. Hopefully, the upcoming additions of Rey Misterio and others will get the show jumpstarted. Maybe Smackdown needs Chris Benoit more?

No. Smackdown wouldn't be in this bad of shape of the Rock was there. No question about that. Speaking of the Rock, Jim Ross stated that he'll be appearing at the 2002 edition of Summer Slam. Interesting...

Tough Enough 2's season finale did a 2.8 rating, which is darn impressive. It just goes to show you that any show with something special announced will do well. NOT announcing Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam in advance wasn't a wise decision by the WWE. That should help ice the decision to have Tough Enough 3...

1wrestling reported that Jeff Hardy will be given time off to prevent burn out. That's very understandable. There's just something about Jeff that just makes you wonder if he's giving you 100% anymore or if he's going through the motions every night now. I can't explain it...

And to cap off the NWA-TNA news, they have made a HORRIBLE decision in signing Scott Hall. Hall, as proven with his recent stints in New Japan and especially the WWE, he's never going to get better. His personal demons have full control of his body, his tastes, and his mind right now, and there's no sign of change. In the short run, the name value could mean something, but in the long run, creating your own stars will make your federation have more interest than it should. Ask ECW.


The JACKSON 5

5. - Bubba Ray Dudley - Looking great, now, as a singles wrestler again.

4. - Edge - Let's hope other wrestlers are generous to Edge like Kurt Angle just was.

3. - Rob Van Dam - RVD said that the Guerrero-Ladder match was his first ECW style match yet. Why not let him do that every week? From his ECW experience, his body can take it...

2. - Eddie Guerrero - Just fantastic in the Ladder Match. Damn it, push him to the moon!

1. - Kurt Angle - Who else elevates talent in the WWE?

Weekly Awards

MATCH OF THE WEEK: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam in the Ladder Match.

BEST CAGE MATCH: Edge vs. Kurt Angle, har har.

THANK GOD HE'S BACK, SO GET HIM ON RAW OFFICIALLY: Chris Benoit.

WEAK of the WEEK: WWE doing Undertaker vs. Triple H at a Pay Per View for the Undisputed Title, despite turning it down at Backlash and doing Hogan vs. Triple H instead. WWE officials said that Undertaker vs. Triple H was getting a weak reaction at the time. It's probably weaker now...

FOOLED YOU: Jake and Kenny's reactions to the WWE picking 2 women, instead of a mix.

NICE TOUCH: Giving their own Jakks figures to the 4 Tough Enough finalists.

NEVER LEARN: NWA-TNA signing Scott Hall to their promotion.

WWE LIKES ME: Jackie, who has gone from wrestler to Tough Enough 1 trainer to referee back to wrestler and now a Heat tryout for announcer. Others would have been released by now.

NOW HAS MORE STEROID TALK THAN PRO WRESTLING: Major League Baseball.

AOL Instant Messenger: BookerTito - It's recommended that you send your questions or feedback as your first message so that it could be answered, instead of saying "hi", "hey", "what's up" or whatever else. Just get to the point, please, to make it easier since I get drilled with messages.

WRESTLEPALOOZA.com - Audio Show, Columns, News, and more!

The Backyard Wrestling Link - Links to many backyard federations and more!

KOLTERSHOCK!!! - A site that you shouldn't view with small children present!

X-Entertainment.com - One of the most entertaining pages on the net!

@I'll probably be back on Monday. If not, I'm guaranteed to be here on Tuesday, where I'll make some sort of announcement. Until then, just chill...

Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.

Mr. Tito 1998 - 2002 Exclusive to LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com