Welcome to the WEEKEND edition of the Phat Daily Column. A few things really quick before I get on to this weekend's PDC, which is loaded with stuff.
Firstly, I'm surprised at the many positive reviews Smackdown received. Two words: John Cena. His impressive debut against Angle must have got everyone "wet" in excitement for the show as a whole.
The "Ask Tito" forum has been good thus far. It's my new place for column feedback or any wrestling questions that I'd normally handle through e-mail. The link of it is down below at the end of the column.
In today's PDC, I'll do 2 things. First, thanks to the WrestlePalooza.com studios, I was able to watch ALL of the 2nd NWA-TNA event, and most of the first one. I'll give you my thoughts on those. Secondly, I'll do my Week In Review, which may get cut short as I do need some sleep, you know.
On to the PDC!
But let's look at the NWA-TNA. Everyone's figure has changed. Buff Bagwell is out of shape. Lash Laroux looks like crap. Malice or the Wall looks to be in incredible shape. Francine, seriously, is borderline anorexic right now. Her arms are like twigs!
Anyway... The sixman match of AJ Styles, Low Ki, and Jerry Lynn versus the Flying Elvis guys was one hell of a six man. I'll tell you what, Low Ki really impresses me. Awesome acrobats and just nasty kicks. AJ Styles is just awesome, as is Lynn, and hell, all of the Elvis wrestlers were great too. They just went out there and wrestled. Nothing more, and nothing less, which is why it was great. In the WWE, you must have some stupid storyline going for you, which anymore, results in cheap comedy that gets no crowd attention. These guys bring great in-ring ability, which will get your attention, like it or not.
Midget match wasn't bad... The Johnson tag team is HORRIBLE! I wasn't too high on the Dupps tag team, as I thought York and Matthews were the better team in the match. The Gauntlet for the Gold match was seriously sloppy and somewhat of a cheap attempt at being a Royal Rumble. Avoid being the WWF, for a change, especially when it's going downhill.
I will say, in between show reviews, that I like the arena set up for NWA-TNA. Yeah, it looks like the old Nitro set, but at least it's not half-assed like other attempts at new federations. I also enjoyed hearing Mike Tenay on commentating again. He's back to calling matches, move for move again, and that's Mike Tenay at his best! Didn't care for Don West or Ed Ferrara, though.
The second show sucked up and until the Main Event. Jeff Jarrett vs. Scott Hall stunk in every which way but loose. Man, this is soooo not 1995 here. Hall is looking terrible out there and the feud with Toby Keith is rather lame (I'm not ripping on Keith's music, so don't start...). Laughable facebuster to finish Jarrett at the end.
One of the WORST ever wrestlers and matches was on this show. All I have to say is one word: Cheex. Whose idea was it to put a 500 pound lard-ass in the ring, with ZERO ability, and to have him basically squash a jobber. This is after you have many good or decent WCW or ECW wrestlers on your roster, such as Corino, Konnan, etc. Words can't describe how bad this was.
K-Krush vs. Brian Christopher was straight out of Jakked hell. These two fought over NASCAR drivers, which isn't a way to draw in WRESTLING fans, at least not the majority. I'm not bashing NASCAR, just saying it has no place in wrestling, unless the wrestling company is sponsoring a car.
The Lingerie match was very disturbing. Aside from the poor wrestling, there was a scene between Ed Ferrara and Francine. When Francine was tossed, Ferrara came over to help her up. However, Ferrara grabbed a handful of Francine's right breast. Shocking indeed. This is what the NWA board of directors is standing for? Then, to make matters worse, it "turned her on", and she ripped off Ferrara's belt as if she was going to give him a blowjob. She swerved him, thank God, and just whipped Ferrara and everyone else with the belt. Just ridiculous.
Next, it was Apollo vs. David Young. *YAWN*
Rainbow Express was up next, and they were managed by Joel Gertner. Gertner lost a lot of weight, by the way. The Rainbow Express are better actors (or actresses) playing homosexuals than Billy and Chuck, and "Bruce" or Alan Kwee Wee Funk looked like Sweet Stan Lane in his rainbow trunks. They lost to Chris Harris and James Storm. So what?
But then, an incredible match went down. The Elimination match for the X-Title. Holy shit, that was one of the best matches I've seen all year, period. That's an opinion, for those of you who jumped on my for enjoying other matches this year. These guys, most of whom already wrestled that night, went out there and KILLED each other. Low Ki is my new hero, Jerry Lynn looked good as usual and his returning finisher, the Cradle piledriver, was put over as an incredible finisher, Psicosis was good, and AJ Styles rubbed it in the WWE's face on what a great wrestler they just missed out on. Styles's finisher is rather wicked.
CONCLUSION: Push the X title division to the moon. That Elimination match was just awesome and thrilling to watch, and it killed anything the NWA-TNA tried on any of its two shows. Amazing...
Several publications in the mainstream media are noticing the WWE's drop in viewership, namely with its teenagers. Yikes. Video game producers just LOVE to advertise on WWE shows, and when they lose the teenage audience, those sponsors could one day be lost.
RAW was yet another weak show, with a few positives. Booker T and Goldust are improving as a tag team, although they have yet to look good against the NWO in the ring. Raven lost a "Loser Leaves RAW" match against longtime ECW foe, Tommy Dreamer, which wasn't hyped well and nobody cared since neither man wrestle too much on RAW. Undertaker squashed Jeff Hardy. Well, duh. Hardy would then challenge Undertaker to a Ladder match for the World Title, which many are predicting that a FLUKE World Title win will occur. RVD and Brock Lesnar fought to a disqualification in the Main Event, yipee!
RAW's rating, by the way, was 3.7, down from last week's 3.9. The significance of the rating was that it came AFTER a Pay Per View, which in the past, usually meant higher ratings. Not this time for the WWE, as they truly are in trouble, unless some major changes are made. Confidential is probably the only good thing in the ratings right now for the WWE.
WWE released their 4th Quarter results. Not good. In the period that ended at April 30th, 2002, overall business was down in comparison to that time during last year. Anything that looked similar was mainly based on price changes, as the WWE increased prices for Pay Per Views and arena events. Again, this period ended on April 30th, 2002, meaning that the terrible months of May and June have not been accounted for yet. Uh oh.... The next quarterly announcement may be a very saddening one.
Bret "the Hitman" Hart apparently suffered a mild stroke after a bicycle accident on Monday, which received a good deal publicity, even a mentioning on Sportscenter. Let's hope that Bret Hart makes a speedy recovery.
NWA-TNA signed underground favorite Christopher Daniels to a contract, which will start in July. He should be an addition to the already hot X-title division. AJ Styles won the Elimination match on Wednesday to become the first ever title holder of the new belt. Incredible match up!
Smackdown was a very interesting show. It started out with Kurt Angle challenging anybody in the back to wrestle him, and John "Prototype" Cena accepted and made a hot opening match. Cena cemented his spot, at least in the early goings. The Rock will return on July 11th, Angle vs. Undertaker on July 4th, HOLY SHIT, LONG TERM BOOKING BY THE WWE! Edge returned after Jericho disqualified himself against Hogan. This episode of Smackdown, though, did a weak 3.3 rating in the end.
4. Chris Jericho - Good week of wrestling for him, as the Jackson 5 liked his match with RVD.
3. Rob Van Dam - Solid effort in every match this week, including 2 Brock Lesnar matches.
2. Brock Lesnar - King of the Ring 2002...
1. Kurt Angle - Beat Hogan, but unselfish enough to help out a new superstar in John Cena. Angle is the man!
WEAK of the WEEK: Cheex on NWA-TNA. What a joke!
Sting 2002: John Cena
Ric Flair 2002: (tie) Kurt Angle and Ric Flair
Where's my OVW Wrestlers?: Monday Night RAW
Fuck OVW wrestlers, we'll take Chris Benoit!: Monday Night RAW
Bury the Goldberg chants!: Deacon Bautista
King of the Ring's SUCK to BLOW match: Undertaker vs. Triple H
Typed a lot in one hour: Mr. Tito
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@Back Monday to possibly hype RAW and whatever else.
Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.