Welcome back to another edition of the Phat Daily Column. Boy, what a night we had with Monday Night RAW. The WWF appears to be headed in a new direction, or at least that's what they want you to believe.
Tomorrow, I will have a review of "Forceful Entry", the latest music CD by the WWF. I will buy the CD later today, and listen to it as much as I can for a review. Music reviews, especially of bands, are always fun because of all of the negative and threatening hatemail I can receive from it.
But the task at hand is to review RAW, so on to it!
And Austin has every right to be angry. He is, after all, one of the key stars who made the WWF successful from 1998 and beyond and he's one of the stars that probably keeps fans watching every week. Then, you throw Scott Hall at Austin for a WRESTLEMANIA opponent, the biggest Pay Per View show of the year. Add this to the fact that Hall has shown some signs of his past problems, several late night drinking episodes, which probably made Austin very mad. Oh yeah, the WWF wanted Austin to LOSE to Hall on WRESTLEMANIA, the biggest Pay Per View of the year. We'll have to see if Austin remains a free agent or if he'll come back to WWF television and make havoc in one of the divisions (I'm assuming RAW).
As for the rest of the show... let me get through the SHOW part and then I'll discuss the Draft. I did think that although the draft was goofy at times, it made for decent television. Something new, as this has never been attempted in pro wrestling or at least of what I've seen.
We start off RAW with Tazz vs. Mr. Perfect. Huh? It looks like Curt Hennig's ass will get kicked out of the WWF door soon, as he JOBBED to Tazz of all people. In the WWF, the only lower place you can be is if you job to Crash Holly. Hennig tapped to the Tazzmission in a rather short match. What can Hennig do after this? He probably burnt down the bridge to the XWF, so I'm assuming dumbass Andrew McManus of the WWA will take him now. Oh boy. Hennig has been a total bust in the WWF, and I didn't expect that whatsoever.
Next, we get a tag match between Edge/Diamond Dallas Page versus Booker T/Christian. Basic RAW or Smackdown match. Booker T and Christian won, as I was guessing we'd see singles matches from these guys tonight. Maybe on Smackdown?
Our next match of the night was Ivory vs. Trish. Geesh. If the Cruiserweight division fails, it's because not enough attention was given to it. However, a shitty division like the women's division gets continually pushed, despite NO crowd response or despite NO interest by fans as a whole in any of the matches (as seen from ratings). The WWF would be better off to put this division on one show, instead of having the champion travel to both shows. Makes no sense.
Just one note with the crowd tonight. Notice how they CHEERED for the Rock tonight? I'm guessing that Canadian fans are older WWF fans, therefore, they absolutely love Hogan in comparision to anyone on the current WWF product. After 1997, the WWF avoided Canada as much as possible, which could have led to some fans not loving Rocky as much as the American fans. Just an interesting theory I wanted to present. Rock started a good chant for Vince, as he began having different sides chanting something different for a phrase. YOU ARE.... AN ASSHOLE.
Hulk Hogan/Rock vs. the NWO in a handicapped match was next, with Kevin Nash being handicapped with bad knees. Hey, it's the truth. Bad match here. The NWO and Hogan are too old (aside from X-Pac) to carry a match now. Of course, when could Nash or Hogan carry one in the first place? The ending was bizarre, as I'm assuming that Kane's involvement was for him to start feuding with the NWO. Wow, talk about an insta-Main Event push. Poor Kane... the only person who can drag a good match out of him is on the other division (Kurt Angle). Tough cookies for him. I'm wondering if Kane will join his brother, the Undertaker, to take on Hall and Nash for a Giant Man jack-off fest for Vince McMahon?
Next match was Jeff Hardy vs. Billy Gunn. I don't see why Chuck & Suck were chosen as a team, while the Dudleys were split up in the draft. I guess titles make a difference. A yawner of a match, with Jeff getting the win on Billy after lots of interference from the outside. HORRIBLE Lita-frankensteiner on Rico. Somebody messed up there.
Vince McMahon just picked Rikishi, so what happens? Brock Lesnar beats the living crap out of him! YES!!! I hope that's a sign of things to come for Brock and Rikishi. Thank God Brock hit the ring, because I don't know if I could take another Regal vs. Rikishi match. I did enjoy how Vince and Flair fought over the next pick for Lesnar, thereby showing the fans that this guy is the real deal. It's sort of like how a lot of Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues fight over Padres' third baseman Sean Burroughs, who appears to be a hot rookie on the verge of superstardom... or at least that's what the fantasy owners think, just like Vince and Flair are thinking when they went after Lesnar. Rikishi was supposed to fight William Regal, but he gladly went back to the entrance way when Lesnar hit the ring. Still, no talking done by Heyman.
Next match was Kurt Angle vs. Rob Van Dam. BLAH at the finish. No need for a "no contest" or "DQ" finish for a title match, especially before the split. Have Edge cost Angle the title to add heat to their feud. Ending the match with a lame finish does nothing for neither wrestler.
Our Main Event was Stephanie vs. Triple H vs. Chris Jericho. THANK GOD Triple H pinned Stephanie. I'm assuming that Stephanie will find a way back on television in a few weeks, but for now, I'll enjoy having a show without seeing her ruining the WWF before my very eyes. Maybe now she'll concentrate on writing storylines for WRESTLERS and not herself for a change. Yeah, that would be nice. The match stunk to high heaven, thanks to Stephanie's involvement. You aren't getting much out of her plaything, Triple H, anymore either. But the bitch is gone for now, and I wouldn't doubt that Vince brings her back for Smackdown or if she'll turn out to be the NWO's financial backer.
And now for the draft.... I'll go through each roster:
-RIC FLAIR - RAW-
1. The Undertaker
2. New World Order
4. Rob Van Dam
5. Booker T
6. Big Show
7. Bubba Ray Dudley
8. Brock Lesnar
9. William Regal
Picks of Interest: Both Hardys selected, so Team Xtreme is still in tact. APA is split, with Bradshaw here. D'Lo returns to the WWF on RAW. A good deal of older WWF talent and ECW talent picked for this show.
Tito's Analysis: Flair got the "raw" end of the deal. His roster is clearly weaker than the Smackdown roster. The Undertaker at #1 is understood, and I guess the NWO is too. However, Kane at #3?!? Why do that when you can have Hulk Hogan? I guess Kane was chosen to piss off the Undertaker and the NWO? Like I said above, splitting the Dudleys is a BAD idea. D'Von is totally going to be a jobber on Smackdown. Booker T and Rob Van Dam will continue their roles... the upper midcard roles, but NEVER coming close to the top. Big Show sucks. This side sorely needs Stone Cold Steve Austin just to even up the playing field.
-VINCE McMAHON - SMACKDOWN-
1. the Rock
2. Kurt Angle
3. Chris Benoit
4. Hulk Hogan
5. Billy and Chuck
8. D'Von Dudley
9. Mark Henry
Picks of Interest: Cruiserweights taken (Kidman, Tajiri, Scotty 2 Hotty, etc.). Chris Jericho went at #13 to add to the already stacked top 4. This side has the WCW Alliance guys, like Hurricane, DDP, Lance Storm, etc. Lots of Tough Enough wrestlers, too.
Tito's Analysis: Vince McMahon, making himself look good?!? Noo.... I was shocked to see Benoit go at #3. I was even more shocked to see Hogan picked right after Benoit at #4. Vince must be serious about pushing Mark Henry with the 9th pick. While Lita was chosen at #10 for Flair, why didn't Flair laugh at Vince for taking Maven at #10? Looks like this "brand extension" will be the Cruiserweight side, as I question what is going on here?!? This side has Hogan and the Rock, great top midcarders in Benoit, Angle, and Jericho, Vince McMahon, and then you're telling me this side will have a Cruiserweight division? Huh?
LAST WORD: Although the wrestling sucked, again, the show was entertaining as a whole. The draft kept my interest for the whole show, despite being half-assed at times like whenever Vince and Flair would get into shouting matches and make draft picks at the same time. The fact that the WWF had draft tickers, war-rooms for each boss, and announcements throughout the show for the drafts was really a nice touch. The only thing I truly disliked about the WWF was how it showed the feelings that the WWF has towards its wrestlers, such as Rikishi and Big Show. Both guys have done nothing but sucked lately, but yet they are chosen above many other better talents. Same goes for Lita and Maven. I'll give this show a very generous
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@That's all for today. Hopefully, I'll go grab a copy of the new WWF CD, Forceful Entry to review for tomorrow. Until then, why not chill?
Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.