Welcome to yet another edition of the Phat Daily Column. It's Wednesday, meaning that we'll discuss ratings, current wrestling issues, and on this day, I'll review the video New World Order: Back in Black. Before writing this column, it just instantly hit me that I still had to review that video.

Many readers thanked me for the many years of writing Daily Columns, which I do appreciate, but I will still be here, writing Daily ones, for June, July, and August. It's in September that I'll probably have to tone it down to 2 or 3 columns a week. Again, we still have 3 months go to through, but note that the situation will be happening at the end of the summer.

In my local Wal-Mart, they showed a preview for Wrestlemania X-8. IMPRESSIVE! That's a great adjective for the Game Cube game. The look of the game just blows anything away before it, and I'm hoping that the gameplay is as good as the N64 games. Then again, it could be utter chaos like the Playstation or X-Box games.

On to the PDC.

~DAILY APPLES~

-AMAZING! Once the RAW rating shows any improvement after the 2 weeks of 3.7 ratings, it just so happens to get quickly released by Nielson. That's quite hilarious, only proving that the WWE only wants to report the positives whenever possible and hide the negatives, you know, to hide the fact that some of their writing for their shows really sucks right now. Anyway, RAW scored a 4.1 rating, which I didn't think was possible with just an average like WWE show, with a few good things. Of course, we could blame the ratings spike on having NO playoffs to compete with that night, but who knows? Let's hope that the WWE doesn't think they are saved by this higher rating, as higher ratings give the WWE the impression that they can be lazy and not put any good effort into a show.

-Around the internet, various people are having bets on how long Shawn Michaels will last in the WWE. Personally, after getting sent home last year, missing out on the BIG Wrestlemania 17 payoff and a potential feud with Triple H, I don't believe he'll drop the ball this time around. However, he is with Kevin Nash and X-Pac, two of his past Clique buddies. Nash and HBK made a lethal backstage political team, and what says that they can't screw around with the RAW roster? Nothing, and it's guaranteed that Stephanie won't have a problem with their political antics, given the persuasion capabilities of the man who is inside her every night, Triple H.

The question is, can HBK wrestle? I very much doubt it, and I can speak from experience. I've said this in the past, as I've had the similar back surgery to HBK, as we both have your spinal chords fused. His was from some disc problems, while mine was from the curvature of the spine. With fused spines, if you do any hard physical activity, your back instantly stiffens up afterward. In my case, I play a lot of hockey and I do my share of rollerblading. After that, I'm usually done for the evening. I'm sure the same case or feeling is with Shawn Michaels. Plus, any hard bumps for either of us, then boom, wheelchair for life.

I'd say that HBK has one more worked or comedy match in him, where he wouldn't be taking the bumps. Maybe he could tag up with X-Pac, with X-Pac taking the majority of the pounding? That's what X-Pac did for Scott Hall or Kevin Nash. I'd worry about HBK helping out the nWo become a better stable than anything. It COULD look like the nWo will turn into a face group, given the possible faction started up by Ric Flair with Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and possibly others. We'll see.

-The WWE is playing up the fact that the Tough Enough 2 selections, Linda and Jackie, 2 women, is a controversy or a conspiracy. Oh big deal. Will someone admit that Jake isn't that good of a wrestling talent, despite the great look, and that Kenny needs to grow up a little bit before joining a professional wrestling organization? You watch, Jake will be a complete bust with whatever independent federation he joins, and Kenny will give any promoter out there headaches. The fact remains is that the crop of male wrestlers in Tough Enough 2 weren't up to par like a Maven or a Chris Harvard from the first season. Just admit that, and move on, mmmk? Linda is a great athlete, and she was beginning to do great with her personality and her promos, while Jackie wanted the WWE contract the most out of anybody.

-I don't believe, for a second, that Scott Hall quit the WWE. NO WAY! His old demons have come up on him lately, and the finishing point was the European tour, where Hall showed everyone who he truly was. If he quit, then why did the WWE use him up and until RAW, where he was supposed to be in a nWo tag match against Austin and Ric Flair? To feed his careless habits, the WWE contract paid Hall plenty for his booze, drugs, or whatever else he's on. He's not willing to give that up so that he can get paid nothing for his fix.

-With the mention of Rico on American Gladiators, I believe I've seen those episodes. I believe the show was on the USA network back in the day, and in the 2nd season, I'm sure that Rico lost to a guy who was a cowboy in real life (that guy could climb the wall very quickly, setting untouched records). If I'm correct, then I remember Rico being the only man who could seriously take the Gladiators in the Joust and the man handled the handbike, in the final physical challenge, with so much power and quickness. If I'm right that he was a finalist one year, let me know.

Mr. Tito's Phat Video Review

Back in the day, I bought WCW's "NWO 4 Life" video, hoping that it would be a grand collection of the beginning of the NWO and all of its great highlights. What I got was a weak collection of highlights, with a weak explanation of the beginning and no appreciation for the major heel turns of the group. My hopes with Back in Black is that it could fill the void...

-New World Order: Back in Black (VHS)-

The main premise of this video is to sell the fact that trio of Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash made the nWo big and what it is today, which would lead into their recent WWF debut. While I'll agree that the 3 man group was very efficient, I did like the NWO when they added Ted Dibiase (sp?) and Syxx (X-Pac today), among others, like the EARLY Buff Bagwell for example. But since Hall, Nash, and Hogan were 3 guys the WWE spent loads of money on, I guess it's fitting to focus on those 3.

This video had an excellent beginning, and was great for the first hour. We start with an introduction of each wrestler. Scott Hall is shown with his classic Razor Ramon gimmick, and his many, many Intercontinental title reigns. Kevin Nash was shown as HBK's bodyguard, and eventual Intercontinental, World Tag Team, and World Heavyweight championships. I liked seeing the quick destruction of Bob Backlund, although it was the match that truly screwed over Bret Hart in the WWF back then. Highlights of the famous "Curtain Call" incident from the crudely taped home video were shown (what is the Curtain Call? read about it Here). And then, highlights of Hulk Hogan were shown. With Hall and Nash, I would have liked some mentioning or highlights of their old WCW gimmicks, to put more emphasis on why they tried to attack WCW like they did.

So now with the elite 3 introduced, let's see how the nWo formed. We are taken back to 1996, the first ever appearance of Scott Hall. Back then, I was in SHOCK, because I knew Kevin Nash was coming to WCW, but not Scott Hall. His whole promo was shown, and watching it now, I can say that it's a very bizarre promo. But back then, I was in shock that Hall was there to even know what he was saying. Then, the folks at the WWE production skipped a week, where Hall started stuff again, where Sting would eventually confront him, with Hall saying he'd bring a "big surprise" for next week. Shame on you, WWE. That big surprise would turn out to be Kevin Nash, and they'd make their challenge there. Guess where Nash's debut was? In the Wheeling, WV Civic Center, and guess who wasn't able to go when WCW toured my area? Damn it.

Next, we go to Great American Bash 1996, where Hall and Nash attacked Eric Bischoff, with Nash eventually powerbombing the Ken doll through a table down below. Back then, that was just a shocker that you told everyone at school about. Highlights of the challenge were shown, and then to the actual Bash at the Beach 1996 match, where Hall and Nash, at first, took on Sting, Macho Man, and Lex Luger. I LOVE this match. Luger was knocked out, and Hogan eventually came to possibly make the save. Oh no! He was the 3rd man! It's still incredible today, as Hogan instantly made WCW into a big force for about 2 years by simply turning heel.

Many NWO attacks are next, although they did show the Disney backstage attack by the NWO, they forgot to show Rey Misterio getting darted into the trailer, unless I missed it? Hogan would then challenge the then World Champion, the Giant (Big Show), and they'd fight at Hog Wild 1996. If you want to see a bad match, well, this was it! Next, it was the Giant's heel turn, which I suppose was added for emphasis that the Big Show was once an NWO member. Hall, Nash, and Hogan would cite that the stable would then dwindle with the many members added to the group. True, but in the long run only. In the short run, the nWo was hot until Starrcade 1997, where it became an apparent joke. Ha, that's when WCW became an apparent joke, too.

We fast foward to the 2002 debut of the nWo, as Vince McMahon is shown threatening to bring them in, the No Way Out debut, the feud with Scott Hall and Steve Austin, the feud with Hogan and Rock, and a few things after that. This was roughly the last 30 minutes of the video, and I didn't care for it too much as I did with the older material.

LAST WORD: For roughly the first hour, this tape was EXCELLENT! With the exception of a few errors, it told the story of the original 3 nWo members greatly. I would have preferred to go more in depth with what happened in 1997, or some of its other incarnations, like the split groups, the 1999 group, or even the embarrassing Russo group. But I guess the 1998 fans are the majority of the buyers here, so we'll cater to them I suppose, explaining why Hall, Nash, and Hogan made WCW big and why they were a big deal coming into the WWF at No Way Out 2002. I'll give it a

B+

(B plus). Again, I'm picky with not including the rest of the NWO's past, but otherwise, this is a good video, especially for a fan with no idea what the NWO was back in the day. Hey, it's better than the NWO 4 Life video.

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@That's all for today. I'll be back tomorrow with some Smackdown hype and whatever else comes to mind. See you then!

Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.

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