The following is the Phat Daily Column. The actual Mister Tito and his Daily Column are participating in giving opinion on the events of the wrestling world. What you are about to see is NOT A NEWS Broadcast. Yes, that's resembling the former great show, Unsolved Mysteries, but it definately tells a lot about this column. Many forget about this, and wonder what makes me tick everyday. Well, your answer is before you, so understand that everyday when you read this very column. On to the PDC.
The NBA Finals actually had an effect on wrestling this week, as the WWF lost a good chunk of their viewers, and so did WCW, but not as bad. I suppose many enjoyed the Russo-less show, which WAS better than any previous attempts, but I guess one week of clean up is hard to make good. Many of you questioned me for the grades yesterday. I personally though, stating MY OPINION, that RAW had better matches than WCW. WCW did have a good night of wrestling. WCW, again, IN MY OPINION, was still in a little disarray from the storylines before it, and the WWF continued their stale ways this week. I offset the storyline factors, and compared the shows based on their "wrestling", and thus you see the grades before you yesterday with RAW getting a B and Nitro getting the B-. It's not like a B is much different than a B-, which in turn, is why I graded that way, because I thought RAW's "wrestling" was slightly better. Call me a "FUCKING WWF Mark" all you want, but I call it like I PERSONALLY see it. That's why it's MY OPINION, and I know everyone is entitled to one of their own.
The stacked Heat did nothing really for the WWF, as it jumped it up 0.4 points with Triple H wrestling Bob Holly in the main event. I'd say Heat is now out of Nitro's league, but not out of Thunder's.
With the lower end, the WWF end seems to be suffering as of late. The stale storylines, since I guess everyone else is in the "storyline" mode, must be killing these shows. Especially Livewire, which is getting closer to ECW on TNN. I wonder how the morons at TNN would feel if ECW on TNN defeated Livewire, a WWF show? Then again, Livewire is really considered about the 5th or 6th ranked show in the WWF line. WCW Saturday night was up this week, but nothing significant.
First off, we have Vince Russo. Many question what the hell I'm on from giving his first show back at WCW an A+, to now constantly bashing him. Well, for that show, I thought it was very fresh then. The New Blood versus the Millionaires' Club was a new, and fresh storyline. It was well put together, IN MY OPINION, then, and a bunch of wrestlers were being used, especially when Kevin Sullivan was burying WCW before that. But what happened?
Heel Turns, and lots of them. Need I say more? Ok, here goes. First, you have a predictable angle with Kimberly Page, but that angle wasn't that bad. Then you have the repeat of David Flair turning on his father Ric Flair. Besides the heavy involvement of Vince Russo in this angle, it was very identical to the one where David Flair joined the NWO. Then you get Kanyon, who turned on DDP after New Blood Member Mike Awesome throws Kanyon off the top of a cage. Awesome would then harass Kanyon, and this monster bump was all a work, right? Waiting a few months to turn heel on someone? Then you have David Arquett, who you know my thoughts on, turning on DDP after getting his ass kicked by the New Blood for a few weeks. How about the many many turns by Horace Hogan? Are you confused yet?
What once was a stable storyline of the New Blood versus the Millionaire Club completely got out of hand. First, you have Booker T breaking off the group, but that was actually going good until Mike Awesome injured Booker. However, you have wrestlers like Kronic doing Russo's deeds, and then turning on him. Then you get Big Poppa Pump, who gets tremendous heel heat, turn into a Stone Cold wrestler and turns on the New Blood. Kanyon, of course, was helping out the Millionaires' club, but after the throw from the cage, sense was knocked into him(I guess) and he turned to the New Blood. Then you have the various jumps from Horace Hogan, and who can forget Billy Kidman the other week, helping out Hulk Hogan. Then you have transition guys, like Tank Abbott and Rick Steiner, who are helping the New Blood one moment, and God knows what the next.
Then you have the whole factor of Vince Russo. Now, I'll admit, I've never liked the guy. I can remember the days when he'd show up on Livewire and flash his ego. I thought then, that it was just his writing gimmick for WWF magazine. Russo eventually makes it on the WWF writing team, and with the aid of some great characters like Stone Cold, DX, The Rock, Mick Foley, and of course, Vince and Shane McMahon to use in the storylines, especially when each is in their prime, he looked real good. He was added to the team just when all of those wrestlers or personalities started to take off and slowly defeated WCW from there in 1998. But the whole thing about Russo is that he wasn't the ONLY booker for the WWF at this time. Vince McMahon was the head of all creative decisions in the WWF, and he had top writers like Russo, Ed Ferarra for the comedy parts, and guys like Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, along with his son Shane McMahon writing this great WWF powerhouse. There were also others contributing to this also. Then Russo jumps to WCW in the fall of 1999.
Now, we get a Vince Russo who claims that he was the ONLY man behind the success of the WWF during this period. We also get a new WCW who does nothing but imitate the WWF. Now, I admit, the WWF ripped WCW hard on its way up to the top, but nothing like WCW did. Every other sentence seemed to be a reference to the WWF. You had the Harris Brothers named Gerald and Patrick, you had Vincent change his name to Shane, you had Ed Ferarra acting like Jim Ross, and just non stop bashing by Vince Russo and claims that he was the only one behind the WWF's success. Again during this period, he started out well because WCW WAS IN TERRIBLE SHAPE WHEN HE CAME IN, but he slowly fizzled out on his storylines, and he was fired for not being able to deliver so early in the ratings. They claim he was fired cause he didn't want to comply with the Standards and Practices, but in fact, his sleezy angles which could pass on WWF TV, weren't allowed, and Russo couldn't book anything without sleeze.
So here we are now with Vince Russo. Remember how he was such a savior with the Younger wrestlers before? You know, wrestlers like Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, and Eddie Guerrero were so upset with Russo leaving, that they jump to the WWF. Shane Douglas and Konnan took suspensions for this man! But what happens with the second run? The nice Russo who worked with the younger guys seemed to disappear. Instead of pushing the younger guys, he just throws them in stables and lets them beat on each other. I mean, look at the Misfits in Action. If they didn't have Major Gunz, they'd be doomed because of their no drawing Military gimmick, and add to that the senile old man for Hugh Morris which was badly recycled from the first Russo run. Then, he gives a bad gimmick to Booker T, who has proven time in and again, that he's one of the most talented wrestlers in WCW, a gimmick of GI Bro. Ok, many will "claim" that Booker T suggested the gimmick, but a good writer or promoter would strike down bad ideas like that! Then you have the Filthy Animals, which is Russo's excuse to NOT push a few of the most talented wrestlers in the business.
The storylines are the biggest factor of my criticism. Each segment has many wrestlers or scenes just thrown in out of no where and without purpose. The heel and the face turns, again, confuse many of the storylines. Russo goes for instand shock value instead of long term building. His attempts with switching the World title, again, the many heel turns, and the whole incident with David Arquette is doing NOTHING for WCW's future. Russo said so himself: "This stuff takes time", meaning that the turnaround of WCW will take a while to accomplish. His moves for the company will do nothing for the future of WCW if that's what he's thinking.
With their actual "wrestling", which is what I mainly look for since I've grown up for the "wrestling" part of it, is lackluster. Matches are rushed and not cared for. You have many made up matches, matches in odd shaped cages, and whatever else. The wrestlers who put on the good wrestlers are held back for angles' sakes, and the bad ones get put into matches, like say Stasiak and Palumbo, or many others like the Artist, and of course, the Misfits in Action. The best wrestling has a blend of good action with good stories behind it. The storylines are rushed and confusing, and the action with Russo is lackluster at times.
These are my biggest arguments about WCW, and I've been a fan of WCW's since the fall of 1988 when they were called the NWA. I haven't stopped watching them since that time, and I even stuck with them in the early 1990s, long before Russo, when nobody gave a damn about this rinky dink federation. I was rewarded for my loyalty when WCW became the best thing going in the summer of 1996 with the arrival of the NWO. Then, slowly but surely, WCW let the wrestlers take control, and the great midcard action was affected, and the main event action was as lame as the WWF's main eventing is today. Then Russo came in, went from good to bad, left us, Sullivan buried WCW, and then Russo came back and put the company in bad shape again. So for a fan who has watched over 10 years of this stuff, I do think I have a right to say all of this about precious Vince Russo. The thing is that I want WCW to succeed. That is why I bash the problems or faults! Don't you get that?
One thing I took some crap was for the Surprise incident. I'm sorry, but when you hear Eric Bischoff saying "this is a surprise that Vince McMahon can't even stop", or when you hear the announcers hype that it will revolutionize professional wrestling, I'd criticizing this is NOT out of my limits. The Bill Goldberg heel turn was very predictable, by everyone and their mother, cousins, father, brothers, sisters, friends, and whoever. That's all. It had HUGE hype behind it from WCW, no matter what the marks, shills, or the company claims about how badly the internet took it. Again, the surprise that Vince McMahon can't even stop. Sure, the 'surprise' was something that he couldn't stop, but when that figurehead is involved in the sentence, it creates shockwaves in the wrestling universe.
From this past Monday Night, I gave it a B-, which isn't THAT BAD of a grade, and suddenly, I'm this cruel, evil, bad, grumpy person. I felt that the storylines, which I described during the Russo booking, affected the show and the storylines used. I said the action was good, so I gave it a B-. Again, I gave the WWF a B because they had some better wrestling action, with stale storylines. So there. WCW did show promise, which is a reason I gave it a B- over the C it received from myself the previous week.
But then again, when I say bad things about the WWF, I'm a Fucking WCW Mark.
The WWF is in real trouble if their storylines aren't refreshed after the King of the Ring. Looking around the internet, the general consensus is that wrestling fans are sick of the current storylines in the WWF. Many say, including myself, that if it weren't for the strong midcarders like Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Tazz(when he returns), and a few others, along with some good tag teams, WCW would have easier competition. The proof of how many care about the current storylines were present in the ratings listed above. Why watch something stale when you can watch a team, led by Phil Jackson, win the NBA finals? No incentive to watch the WWF then because nothing special or new will happen. The WWF should learn from this week, because the rumored dragging of the storylines until Steve Austin's return certainly won't hold up with fans.
From Brander's post earlier, it showed the evil ways that the Parent Television Council is making money of WWF toys in Toys 'R' Us. That is funny, because my local Toys R Us has about 10% WWF toys(no lie), and I'm sure that's pretty close in every other store. What's funnier is that if the PTC immediately notices this fault, since they are blind on details, they might inform or threaten Toys R Us with their Nazi ways to get the WWF stuff out of their store. Yeah, I'd like to see that. For one, WWF toys are a hot-seller. They have always been in Toys R Us. Next, Toys R Us has a good working relationship with Jakks, which I'm very sure Toys R Us doesn't want to break. Yeah, go ahead and try it. BUT, you know the PTC won't do anything. As long as they make money, the PTC could care less. They just care about receiving money for their own needs, and getting power with their threats to WWF advertisers.
The thing about the PTC is that they aren't going nowhere. As long as those SS officers brainwash their members, they will continue to piss and moad about the WWF, and continue to harass their advertisers. I actually think the WWF should thank this Cult for attacking sponsors. Now the WWF knows who will stick with them and who will be loyal to them. The sponsors who stick with the WWF will only receive the benefits that weak advertisers like MCI Worldcom chickened out on.
@That's all for this edition of the Phat Daily Column. I'll be back tomorrow with some Thunder thoughts on another night without the man named Russo. Just chill....
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