Welcome to the RETURNING edition of Mr. Tito's Phat Daily Column. For the past 4 days, I've worked roughly 56 hours, which is why you didn't see a column for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I actually cheated and wrote the Monday column late Monday night, which I sometimes do if I know I'll be busy the next day. Something came up at work this week, which otherwise, I would have been able to produce the PDC daily. However, shit happens, as they say.

Anyway, this has been a very chaotic week in professional wrestling, as we may see a major shake up in the WWE. What's my opinion on the matter? Well, for today, I'll be reviewing BOTH RAW and Smackdown, catching up on my television reviews. Within those reviews, I'll insert my opinions on the current matters at hand in the WWE, such as Steve Austin.

So on to the PDC, as I need to catch up. Again, sorry for the poor attendance this week, but I couldn't really control it. I have been good on the Daily attendance for the past few months, especially in the last few weeks, so I think I deserve some slack.

RAW is TITO

Before RAW began, Steve Austin walked out of the WWE. In the show's storylines, they had one Brock Lesnar wrestling and defeating (probably cheaply) Austin in a one on one match. Austin saw this, felt it had no addition to the current storyline at hand (Austin vs. Flair/Guerrero/Benoit), and with being already angry with the WWE for issues he felt disrespected about, he left. Austin can do so, probably due to his creative control clause in his current WWE contract. That's why he's able to suggest who he wants to feud with (Guerrero), who he does NOT want to lose to (Hall, Jarrett, and even Triple H at SummerSlam 1999, no matter what Foley insists), and whatever input he'd like to put into his current storylines. So he chose to refuse the job to Lesnar and book himself on a one way ticket to home.

So was it the right thing to do? Well, the bookers, writers, and Vince McMahon make the majority of the creative decisions in the WWE, and most everyone is supposed to follow whatever they assign for them, as written in their contracts. However, guys like Austin, Triple H, and the Undertaker have heavy creative input in whatever is assigned for them, and if they don't like it, as they have done many times in the past, they'll strike it down or alter the final storyline. In respect to the rest of the WWE locker room who have no control over their characters, it's a slap in the face when those few wrestlers can do as they please. However, guys like Austin, Triple H, and the Undertaker have made the company millions of dollars in the past.

But that's the past. Right now, the WWE is facing a future financial crisis, as ratings, attendance, merchandise, and buyrates are slipping. They need to do what's in their best interests to change that around. Pushing a new superstar over a big name wrestler COULD be the way to go, although I'll agree that Brock Lesnar still has a while to develop, in the ring, to really become a top tier superstar or to have the chance to go over a big name, such as Austin. Then again, it could have been huge. We don't know that, as Austin walked out of the WWE and may never come back again to do that job to Lesnar.

With Austin, it's not like his current position, on top, is drawing ratings. His feud with Ric Flair isn't helping the ratings of RAW, although their feud isn't the main thing to blame. When the WWE was in the toilet before 1998, they got rid of Bret Hart and other stale stars to pave the way for the Rock, Steve Austin, Triple H, and Mick Foley to run with the ball for a while. Maybe it's Austin's time? With the WWE's success dwindling, he should know that it's his turn to help other talent get over, possibly.

With that being said, I don't like the stance made by Austin. He should know that in a slump, a wrestling company would have to do anything in its power to put new faces into wrestling fans' minds to make professional wrestling successful again. Walking out without giving back to the company that made him millions of dollars was totally unprofessional, in my opinion. And for now, he should just stay home. If he comes back, it's likely that one Vince McMahon would be preparing to screw him on something, just as he did with Bret Hart in November of 1997 at Survivor Series.

So on to the RAW show itself... The writers are blaming the disarray and poor organization of the show on Steve Austin. While that's a decent excuse, the midcard matches were again week and other storylines were still torture. I thought Vince McMahon inserting himself on RAW and beating Ric Flair for 100% ownership was utterly ridiculous. Sure, Flair would be lost without Austin there, but damn, to have Vince McMahon come out of nowhere and challenge Flair for ownership, after all of this time, just felt very rushed. Plus, it takes a mean crap on the idea of the split, and it will forever be a failure from now on. Vince now heading both shows will kill the uniqueness of both shows, as if that was there in the first place.

YAWN at the nWo versus the RAW jobbers six man match. What a waste. FINGER OF SHAME at the WWE for completely insulting Molly Holly. Big ass? The writers made a big ass out of themselves for totally burying her with those insults, even though she would later beat Trish in a match later. Another YAWN at the Bradshaw vs. William Regal match. How hard is it to call Chris from Tough Enough, Chris Harvard? Using his last name, which is hard to say (ask Jim Ross), won't ever get him noticed by wrestling fans. Chris Harvard is a damn good name to give him a great snob gimmick for the future. Jeff Hardy looked like an idiot running in front of the camera later on...

Weak ending to the Rob Van Dam vs. Eddie Guerrero match. Sloppy indeed. Their finish would later be redone on Smackdown, where Kidman pinned Lance Storm just like that with a shoulder controversy. Good drugs for the writers, eh? Yay, another Undertaker versus the Hardy Boyz feud. The Undertaker took on both Hardys easily in the beginning, as he was preparing to Last Ride Matt until Jeff made the save to finally defeat the 'Taker. That made Jeff and Matt look so weak against the Undertaker. And they were tag team champs at one time? HA!

Lesnar advances, but I doubt he'll advance on in the King of the Ring. My money is on a Booker T vs. Chris Jericho final, where Jericho will win. Booker T's face turn was complete with a very shocking moment. Shawn Michaels cut a good promo on Monday night, and then talked about something wrong with the nWo. He went through Kevin Nash, Big Show, and while finishing his pep talk with X-Pac, he drilled some Sweet Chin Music out of no where on Booker T. My jaw dropped, probably the first time in a long time while watching RAW. That was wicked.

I will say this though about the promo. Shawn Michaels's shot at the Rock was totally unnecessary. That was Triple H's indirect revenge on the Rock for the Rock's hints of Triple H's jealousy of his movie career. If Triple H has any balls, he'll say something himself, not get his buddy Shawn Michaels to badmouth him. Plus, HBK isn't the man to start any backstage wars, given his past in the company. Triple H does nothing but hide behind the McMahons instead of sticking up for himself. What a pussy.

LAST WORD: This show was a mess in my book and it's going to create many problems in the future. The idea of the split has been totally ruined, backstage morale will really explode soon, and the writers continue to give two shits about midcarders or up and coming stars. Let's hope the "McMahon rub" will elevate Brock to a new level, and let's hope the WWE finds something good for Eddie Guerrero and/or Chris Benoit now, or this fed is totally going to suck for the rest of 2002 (as if it wasn't sucking before). I'll give the show a

C-

(C minus), showing some sympathy for the given circumstances of Steve Austin walking out but still noting it wasn't a good show by any means. Things, other than making Vince McMahon getting more television exposure, need to be seriously done to help WWE television.

SMACKDOWN is TITO

Show started off with Vince McMahon cutting a promo. Well, it's more like an ego trip by himself, which is how he's going to solve the ratings problem. That's what he always tries, which is pathetic. Let's start a pool to when Stephanie will return. I'll say 2 weeks to a month. Then, this turned into an OFFICIAL King of the Ring contract signing between Undertaker and Triple H. Yeah, let's remind fans at how this main event will suck so bad. The Undertaker would attack the Game, making me shout very bad words at the television screen.

Triple H would stick around after the commercial break to attack Chuck and Suck with the trusty sledge hammer. Thank God he did, too, as we would have witnessed a Rico vs. Rikishi match instead. That's not the kind of match you would even want to try on a prime time wrestling show. Triple H would then call out Vince McMahon, destroying lots of WWE equipment, including a "$50,000" camera. I'm sorry, but given the technological advances, I don't think that camera is THAT expensive. If the great Nick Ponton is reading this very column, please message me about how expensive cameras, of that nature, are.

Anyway, that would spark Vince McMahon to give Triple H the Undertaker, and make a Triple H/Hulk Hogan vs. Undertaker/Kurt Angle match. Angle and the Undertaker attacked Hogan before the match, making a REALLY BORING handicapped match. Oh man, it was so boring that I went off to get this very computer started so that I could begin writing this very column earlier. Lame DQ finish, too.

In a very quick match, Test beat the Hurricane to advance on in the King of the Ring tournament. Another day, another Test push. The WWE will NEVER learn, which is one reason why they currently in the rut that they are in. They just don't have that eye to recognize fresh talent anymore, as they are instead relying what worked in the past on today's shows. The other KOTR qualifying match was Tajiri vs. Hardcore Holly. That was a short match too. King of the Ring is based on endurance, yet the matches are so quick for qualifying. Don't get it. I did like how the WWE finally announced brackets during the show though...

I really enjoyed the tag match of Chris Jericho/Lance Storm vs. Kidman/Val Venis. I really like the entrance music for both Storm and Kidman now. Storm's has that Canadian feel, while Kidman's newer theme rocks. I really liked Kidman's old theme, insomuch that I'm always searching for a perfectly clear version of it. Every version I find is rough sounding or kinda scratchy. Every other stock music theme, I have found clear versions of. Not Kidman's old theme... Anyway, great tag match. Val and Kidman appeared to have good face pops during the match, although the crowd was totally into the whole match. As mentioned above, they didn't need to repeat the pinning spot.

Hulk Hogan was a bit weird for his backstage interview this week. No need to try to be hip or anything there, Hogan.

Odd stuff with Vince McMahon - Stacy Keibler - Dawn Marie. Don't how that will play out.

Trying to keep the heat on the Survivor Series 1997 - Bret Hart screwjob was continued, as Lance Storm confronted Earl Hebner's son, who has been a WWE referee for about a year now. Man, that was over 4 years ago! And they truly wonder why Bret Hart will NEVER make any kind of WWF return.

Faarooq easily squashed D'Von Dudley. Now that was a waste. If you're going to push D'Von to be something in singles, like making him beat Triple H one week, then why have a guy on the brinks of retiring beat him in under a minute with no problem? The real news of the match: Faarooq still jacks off.

Given how green Jackie and Linda are, the Jackie/Ivory vs. Trish Stratus/Linda match wasn't that bad. Trish Stratus continues to amaze me though. She carried whoever was in the ring with her, and that head scissors move impressed me a great deal. She's a better athlete than I ever expected in the WWF/WWE. Put my foot in my mouth for ever talking shit about her ability to wrestle. Both Jackie and Linda obviously showed potential in the match, as they didn't look too bad. They still want to be big in this business more than Jake or Kenny will ever be.

At the end of the Main Event, it finally happened. Kurt Angle's whig and headgear were ripped off after Hogan made his way to the ring. You'd figure that after a few weeks, Angle would have no problem growing a buzz that resembled his old hairstyle. Oh well. If Angle wants to keep some major heat on himself, he'll wear that headgear and whig next week and the weeks after that.

LAST WORD: This show had its ups and downs. Matches were better than RAW, although that says nothing because RAW's matches were very weak. The tag match in the middle was fun and the storylines were more organized, but the show's material was nothing to brag about or to increase ratings. Undertaker, Hogan, and Triple H still dominate this show, while guys like Jericho, Angle, and others get hints of main eventing, only to go back to the midcard in the long run. I'll give it a generous

C+

(C plus) for its share of short matches, increased amount of backstage segments, and just some very strange stuff on this week's show. This show had a 4.6 in the overnight rating, which should produce something in the 3.2 to 3.6 range when the final number comes out. That's not good.

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@I'll try my best to pump out a Week in Review column this weekend. Again, I apologize for the absences, but understand that this is a hobby for me and not the way I earn my living. I only wish...

Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.

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