Welcome to another Friday edition of the Phat Daily Column. What?!? Today, we'll take a look back at last night's Smackdown, which we always do on Friday. What?!? We'll see if the WWF learned from RAW's mistakes, or if they are in a stupid period, creatively. What?!?

I gotta say this about the new Jakked WWF figures: they suck! As I was going through my local Wal-Mart, I strolled on over to the toy section to see if I could find any Starting Line Ups. The wrestlers, right now, look way too detailed now. Isn't that a good thing? Well, not when you try to include EVERYTHING that a wrestler has or wears. Take, for example, the Jeff Hardy one. They tried to include all of his clothes and whatever else he wears, and it made his figure look overweight.

Speaking of the Jakked figures, they just aren't selling like they used to. I remember when I collected them, back in 1997-1998, you couldn't keep certain figures on the shelves, like the Rock, Stone Cold, X-Pac (especially!), Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels. Now, if I want a big name star, I can just easily get one because the WWF has been over supplying stores with their wrestlers. Oh yeah, the WWF product isn't as hot as it used to be, therefore, no reason for buyers to purchase the figures.

While we are on the subject of Jakked, I wouldn't be complaining about the lower WWF figure sales if I were them. Before the WWF joined on with Jakked, Jakked was an unknown in the toy business, always failing to strike deals with movies, television shows, or anything else to make toys of. However, in 1996, when the WWF was going down, they needed a toy company to help promote them in their fight against WCW. Jakked and the WWF signed together, and the rest is history.

There, now you know a little something about the WWF and Jakked. On to the PDC!

SMACKDOWN IS TITO

Since Marilyn Manson starts off the show, everyweek, with "Beautiful People", I thought that this would be a good moment to comment on his new song. If you didn't hear it (or see it) yet, Manson re-did the 80's classic Tainted Love for the upcoming movie "Not Another Teen Movie". It's quite an interesting tune and spin on the song that many still love. The video is even more interesting, as Manson has apparently changed his look, again, as he added some gold teeth to his mouth. His smile looks quite scary now. Whoa... gotta review Smackdown.

Backstage, it's Ric Flair and Vince McMahon, again, to start of the show. Again, it was Flair dissatisfied on how Vince was running his 50% of the company. However, let's note that so far, just bringing up this fact is as far as Flair will get with Vince. My theory is that the WWF is delaying more Flair interaction until after Vengeance, where the WWF will have a long time before Royal Rumble to fill television.

I liked the opening interview. That's probably what nobody expected to read, right? What?!? What?!? Stone Cold Steve Austin is just incredibly over as a newly turned face, it's ridiculous! The fans were screaming "What?!?" off the top of their lungs, and they were responding to everything Austin said. Good God, it's strikingly similar to his face status of 1998. Kurt Angle came out, and he too would play off the fans. But this time, drawing lots of heat by telling the fans to shut up about saying "What?!?". It's a good segment, with a clear cut face and a clear cut heel going at it.

I just want to note that the WWF finally has some lines drawn to who is face and who is heel. The Rock and Steve Austin are clearly faces, while Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, and William Regal are full blown heels. I believe that the Undertaker has some work to do when becoming a full blown heel, like maybe changing his look or starting to roll his eyes again. With the WWF having 4 big heels, and possibly a 4th if you count Booker T, it looks as though Triple H may be a face after all.

Our first match was Scotty 2 Hotty versus Christian. Like I said yesterday, you've got the hottest midcard face against the hottest midcard heel. Instead of booking Test vs. Albert at Vengeance, why not try to book two guys that actually get crowd reaction??!?!?! How about that, you WWF bitches! Anyway, the match was decent, until Test decided to attack his former T&A member and helped Christian to win. Nobody wants to see Albert vs. Test. NOBODY! If it happens, you won't see any crowd reaction, unless Scotty 2 Hotty is ringside.

Get the Hardys and Lita some acting lessons!

It's funny how the WWF is encouraging Rob Van Dam to use his laid back attitude in the backstage segments, as scene with his segment with Vince last night, yet they totally discourage any drug use among its wrestlers. Of course, I know there are plenty of wrestling fans who tune into wrestling to see such things, just like they did for the Godfather, Kronic, or whoever else used drug references. I do feel bad for Rob Van Dam, because unlike his last match with the Undertaker, he'll become a human punching bag and pay the Taker back for winning the last time.

Backstage, evil William Regal and Kurt Angle attack poor Edge. Regal mainly did the attacking, which will likely set up a match at Vengeance, which is good! Highlight of the segment: Charles Robinson breaking up the attack. Why?!? He was in a WWF uniform!!! The WWF has apparently picked up Robinson's services as a referee! That's great!!! I haven't seen evil Nick Patrick lately, but I'm assuming since he's associated more with the Alliance, that he'll have to be brought back somehow. Robinson never favored the Alliance, in any match. Little Natch lives on!

Next match was Rob Van Dam versus Bubba Ray Dudley. Man, if the WWF would just give the Dudleys some time on the mic to get heel heat, they'd be incredibly over as heels since they already have a valet. Cutting good promos are the only ingredients missing from the Dudleys right now. Bubba vs. RVD was too short to even develop. Anybody notice how Bubba didn't get busted open by the Vandaminator? He's from ECW, and he's taken many of those. I believe that the WWF should have RVD teach his opponents on how to take the move without injury. The Undertaker attacked afterward, and delivered a DEVASTATING powerbomb to RVD on a trashcan. That had to have hurt! Undertaker tried to show his mic skills afterward.

Another good bout between Edge and Kurt Angle. Regal helped solidify the Vengeance match with Edge with his attack to help Angle win the match. I like how the WWF brought back the idea of wrestlers hiding objects in their trunks. Truly old school. Just don't get lazy on the brass knucks, like WCW did, by using wrapped up medical tape as a foreign object. I guess this match was non-title?

It looks like the WWF will get some negative publicity for the Vince McMahon and Trish Stratus segment. The PTC cult, who can't take care of television content by informing parents to be parents, will go bonkers over this. The remaining WWF sponsors, who aren't video games, will most likely be gone now, as the PTC will pursue any sponsors with the idea that Vince McMahon forced Trish on her knees, and then he was going to drop his pants for her. The Rock would then come down and save us from an even more embarrassing scene. Thank you Rock. After the Rock slapped around Vince, Chris Jericho would attack, and the Rock sold the chairshot like he was about to die!

Hardys vs. Big Show/Kane was next, and the match was for the #1 contendership. I wonder how Big Show and Kane were booked into this, despite no recent tag matches, together, lately. I guess they just informed the WWF that they were teaming, and based on their tree-like sizes, they were given the spot. Ok. Match was decent, if you like seeing the Hardys getting tossed around like ragdolls. Jeff's sloppiness hit Lita at the end, and Jeff would then find himself receiving a mid-air big boot to lose the match. Afterward, we received great news: Hardy vs. Hardy at Vengeance!

Tazz would be the man to accept Ric Flair's challenge to fight the Undertaker. At least it was a long, drawn out pounding for Tazz, who hasn't seen a match go past 2 minutes in a while. He even tossed the Undertaker off the top rope, and slapped on the Tazzmission for a significant amount of time. In the end, the Undertaker got in more offense and won the match, as I hear many Tazz fans screaming at once.

The Main Event was William Regal vs. Steve Austin in a strap match. A good brawling match between these two friends, which gave the fans a match to finish out the show instead of a Vince McMahon ego-trip for once. Thank God. I felt as though the finish was rushed though, with no build up to the final touching of the last corner for Austin. Oh well, the match was still good. Afterward, Angle attacked Austin, and Edge ran in to save the day.

SMACKDOWN Phat Stats
Matches: 6
Clean Wins: 5
Screwjobs: 1
Disqualifications: 0
No Contests: 0

LAST WORD: An incredible improvement over RAW! Why? Less time to Vince McMahon, and more time to the matches. That F'N simple! In my opinion, I felt as though the WWF did a good job beefing up Vengeance. Let's take a look at the possible card:

-Round 1 World Title match: Rock vs. Jericho
Round 1 World Title match: Austin vs. Angle
William Regal vs. Edge
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
Dudleys vs. Big Show/Kane
Undertaker vs. Rob Van Dam

Looks good on paper, although I have a feeling that Albert vs. Test will be added soon. Booooo! As for Smackdown as a whole... solid show overall. I'd go for A-range, but I dislike Vince McMahon ego-trips, therefore a

B+

(B plus) for this week's Smackdown. Remember, less of Vince McMahon is a good thing.

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@That's all for today, kiddies. I will try to be back this weekend with something to avoid having the FINGER OF SHAME pointed at myself. Until then, just chill......

Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.

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