21 years to this day, on April 21st, 1980, I was brought into this world. I guess I grew up with a normal life, but this isn't a biography of (insert my real name), for it's a history of Mr. Tito, wrestling columnist. My first viewing of was sometime in the mid 1980s on some syndicated shows of the WWF. It was in the early stages of Hulkamania, and I only knew of the big feuds back then, and not the whole federation. I was just beginning grammar school back then, so I still didn't know my 'right' from my 'left' yet. Well, I did, but you know what I mean. I'd have to say I was really getting hooked around the time of Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant for Wrestlemania 3, and I was a loyal viewer by then. Just watching the WWF, and nothing else. I was never a big fan of Hogan in those days, and I always questioned why fans cheered for him. I grew up liking the Ultimate Warrior as my fan favorite, I guess. I liked Ricky Steamboat too, which we'll get to later in 1989.
By 1988, I didn't miss a show. The tag teams were a big love of mine back then, for I could enjoy the Hard Foundation, Demolition, or other teams. I was just watching the WWF, and WWF only by the summer of 1988, and I didn't quite watch the AWA, nor did I watch the NWA. I didn't even know of those feds back then. Forgive me for being 8 years old. I didn't start watching the NWA until my Uncle introduced it to me by showing me the first ever Clash of the Champions. The featured match, if you didn't know, was the famous Ric Flair vs. Sting match, which went to a time limit draw. My Uncle was a big TBS junky back then, for he enjoyed all of the programming there, especially the monster movies (Godzilla, King Kong, etc.). I guess by watching TBS so much, he became hooked on the classic NWA. So after the 1st Clash, I watched the NWA on a regular basis.
I was just amazed at the totally different, but excellent, federations that the WWF and NWA were. For the NWA, I became an instant mark for the Road Warriors, Animal and Hawk. I loved how they destroyed teams in like 10 seconds or whatever. But the real team I really enjoyed, back then, was the Midnight Express, the version with Beautiful Bobby Eaton and Sweet Stan Lane. The battle over the Midnight Expresses was my favorite feud back then, with Paul E. Dangerously and Jim Cornette always making the feud spectacular. Ric Flair was a wrestler who I began to love to hate, and I always cheered the faces, especially Lex Luger for some reason or another, and of course, Sting. My brother was especially hooked on Sting, and I marked for the Ultimate Warrior, so it always provided for some good arguments on who was better. I can now say who is truly better.....
1989 was just an incredible year for wrestling, I thought back then. Ricky Steamboat arrived in NWA to go after the man I loved to hate, Ric Flair. I marked out big time!!! Plus, in that year, NWA had the Great Muta, who just totally shocked me at that time. I actually enjoyed NWA better than the WWF, although I still found the WWF to be quite entertaining. The Steamboat vs. Ric Flair feud was just so incredible back then that I still mark out for it today.
1990 gave me my big wish of having the Ultimate Warrior as the WWF World Champion. I remember I was PISSED OFF when the Ted Turner began to officially name everything in the NWA, WCW. I thought World Championship Wrestling was such a lame name back then. I also remember shaking my head about WCW's decision to have Robocop save Sting one Pay Per View. Sting eventually became World Champ that year, so both federations had household favorites on top.
I didn't like 1991's wrestling, for I found WCW to becoming fairly boring, and I didn't sell on the USA vs. Iraq feud going on in the WWF. I thought Hulk Hogan was passed his time, and so forth. I guess, as an 11 year old fan by then, I was just mad at the WWF for taking the World Title away from him. Interest for me, in wrestling, didn't quite spark up until Ric Flair showed up in the WWF. Better yet, Sid came to the WWF, who I marked out for during the Skyscraper days. I thought the WWF was stacked beyond belief, and I enjoyed 1992 very much. Although I still watched WCW back then, I didn't get too excited about it. I did like how Vader was becoming an incredible heel, though. I enjoyed Wrestlemania 8 very much, although I hated the main event. Well, not really, for the Ultimate Warrior came back to wrestling.
The Warrior was skinnier and had a new haircut, which prompted rumors of his death because of Steroids. I ALWAYS defended that it was indeed the same Warrior as before, despite many others insisting that it was a new Warrior or Kerry Von Erich in disguise. Oh, speaking of that man! I don't know if it was the late 1980s or early 1990s, but ESPN had the classic World Class on. There, I became a HUGE fan of Kerry Von Erich, the "modern day warrior", and always cheered him on for whoever he fought. Also on ESPN, I caught the final days of the AWA, which I found to be quite boring. I only saw the demise of the AWA, which is why I have problems discussing the old days of the AWA. Finally on ESPN, I watched ALL of the Global Wrestling Federation, which I nearly fell asleep watching after school. That was such a boring federation, despite the Patriot and the Lightning Kid. If you want to see a talented Sean Waltman, watch the old GWF!
Anyway, I noticed that wrestling was going through another downturn at the end of 1992. Warrior was gone, again (!!), WCW was getting lamer, and Ric Flair's days were over in the WWF. I did like Bret Hart as the champion, since I was a Hart Foundation fan. I wasn't quite into the idea of having Ron Simmons as the World Champion, for he was a lame wrestler before that. I did appreciate the build up they did with him, and the effort to make him a top wrestler.
1993 - 1994 were the dark years, really, for my wrestling viewership. I NEVER missed Prime Time Wrestling on USA, and continued to watch it when it became Monday Night RAW. I watched WCW, but in grief. Sort of like how I watched the recent editions of Thunder, if you read those columns. I thought WCW of 1993 was just a total disaster, with an overrated British Bulldog, then, and the lack of respect they gave such stars as Sting and Flair. I did like that Steamboat was in WCW, and I was getting hooked on Stunning Steve Austin. Back then, I felt he was going to carry this federation's future. Wrong fed. I HATED that WCW picked up Hulk Hogan, for I deemed him as washed up then. In the WWF, for some reason, I picked up on Diesel's attitude, and he became a WWF favorite of mine. Same goes for Razor Ramon, although I hated Shawn Michaels. I really enjoyed the Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund feud, and I was alright with Diesel winning the title a few days later. However, I wasn't a big fan of the "new Generation" Diesel the WWF tried to push. I was always wondering, too, why Bret Hart was getting depushed... years later, I'd read why, thanks to the Clique.
For 1995, I didn't buy into the Hogan era, and the same goes for the Diesel era. I wanted Diesel as a heel, and not a "pussy face" like he was acting. Wrestling, to me, hit a rut until Monday Nitro began. I wasn't too thrilled with it as a Hogan showcase, but I was just shocked at the return of Lex Luger to WCW. By the way, I didn't like the All American Lex Luger, and his return, challenging Hogan, was a breath of fresh air! I wasn't too thrilled with the WWF, by then, for they had Body Donnas and Hogfarmers around. But I liked the competition of the Monday Night Wars, and I probably still favored the WWF then instead of WCW.
But then there was 1996. I absolutely HATED the big face push of Shawn Michaels. Throughout my history as a wrestling fan, I've always hated "pretty boy" faces, which Shawn Michaels was. After Hogan left WCW for a vacation, I began to enjoy WCW more and more. The Ric Flair vs. the Giant match really caught my eye, as did the incredible cruiserweight division forming. Same with other great wrestlers, such as Chris Benoit. I REALLY hated the 60 Minute Iron Man match between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, which set the stage for me enjoying WCW a little more.... especially with the New World Order forming! I hated Hogan, but I was SHOCKED by his heel turn at Bash at the Beach 1996. I really enjoyed Kevin Nash and Scott Hall as a team, too, for they had some excellent attitudes on camera back then. The WWF had their tail between their legs for 1996, but I still watched as always. The NWO was just thrilling to watch. But the WWF woes didn't affect me, for another federation caught my eye. Late at night, I found an interesting federation, which I've heard of on PWI. That federation was Extreme Championship Wrestling in the fall of 1996, which I was totally hooked on until my %@$@ WB channel took it off due to foul language in late 1997. I was hooked on the Elimiators, Stevie Richards, Sandman, and other incredible hardcore stars.
1997 was quite an interesting year of wrestling. In enjoyed the WHOLE product of WCW, while enjoying some parts of WCW. WCW was a great all around product, although I was slowly growing sick of Hollywood Hogan. I never bought into the Canada vs. US feud, although Steve Austin and the Patriot were catching my eyes. I was also a big fan of the late Owen Hart back then, and I remember jumping up and down when he beat Rocky Miavia for the IC title. I HATED Rocky Miavia, because of course, he was a "prettyboy face". I did enjoy the newly turned heel Rock, though, as his feud with Austin would become classic to me. WCW kept my intrigue about Sting vs. Hogan, and set me up for a great disappointment at Starrcade 1998. The WWF became greatly interesting with Degeneration X and the famous Hart feud, which brings me to the internet!
Somewhere in 1997, which I believe was around Spring, my cousin, who I called "Milk" in reference to the bodyguard in the great movie Bachelor Party, introduced me to the internet. He was always using Microsoft V-Chat, or whatever it was called, and one night, I entered a chatroom. I needed a nickname to use in there, since I had FEARS of using my real name for anything electronic (as I oddly still do today). Before that night, I just watched the Jackson 5 movie that airs on VH1 every once in a while. I remember getting a sick laugh out of the Joe Jackson actor yelling at his son, Tito Jackson, by saying "TITO!!! Go outside and get a switch!", because Tito broke a string on Joe's guitar. So that popped into my mind, and I went into the chat room as Tito. I used "Tito" for everything else after that for online stuff.
After my cousin got me hooked, I began to frequent the Library for their internet connection. There, using Yahoo! as my source, I started looking for wrestling sites. From there, I began looking into "insider news", from such sites as Scoops, IWZ, and Wrestlemaniacs. From those sites, I'd get my first taste of the instant news side of wrestling, for my suscription of Pro Wrestling Illustrated always provided late news. The first big thing I learned on the internet was the debut of Curt Hennig and Raven into WCW. I found out the exact date of their entrance, and I was just amazed when it was actually true. My trips to the Library became more often, and I would even sneak into my local University to use their computer labs for wrestling knowledge or the latest news. I guess you could say I became a "smart fan" then or whatever.
For 1998, I was VERY disappointed in WCW. Although Goldberg was interesting, the whole product just sucked with the constant Hogan bullshit. The WWF was getting better, and better, with the booming Steve Austin and I really caught on to Kane for some reason back then. Of course, the Austin vs. McMahon feud really got me hooked on the WWF, and thank God, cause I couldn't take any more of Hogan's bullshit as World Champion. I didn't care, much, for the many celebrities WCW tried to bring in, and by then, I was hoping for the younger wrestlers to get a chance.... which they didn't. WWF just ruled back then!
Sometime in the summer of 1998, where I'd get my own computer (the Compaq from Hell I always bitch about), and I would continue to look up news on the net. By now, I'd fall for those wonderful plugs at the bottom of the pages. Yeah, I'll admit that I bitch about what I used to do, but they weren't promising NUDE Trish Stratus back then, like Monkeys or Baboones do today. Well, my falling for those links actually led to a good thing. Why? Because in some form or another, somebody plugged a new site for me. When I went to that site, I was just amazed at the content and the many newsposts it had. It became my favorite wrestling site, and I always made sure to check it first before any other site. That site, by the way, was LordsofPain.net!
I officially started college in the fall of 1998, and I had plenty of opportunities in between classes to check out wrestling news. On October 25, 1998, I hit refresh on LordsofPain.net, and saw an interesting post made by the webmaster, Painlord (Calvin Martin, as you know him now). The post, just made, was asking for a "Daily Columnist" to anyone who wanted the spot. So seeing that, I jumped to my e-mail account and applied for the spot. Calvin hired me, but I needed a column name and a name for myself. So staying with the "Tito" theme, I added the "Mr." to it, and since I used to say that everything cool was "phat", I just inserted into "Daily Column", and that's how Mr. Tito's Phat Daily Column was born. The first day was October 26, 1998. Here's how I started the column:
Hey yo, welcome to Mr. Tito's first installment of his daily column. Everyday, I hope, I will be looking at the big three(WCW, WWF, ECW) in perspective. I will describe the current conditions of each of the big three and use my opinion to see what could be done to help each federation.
There you have it. I didn't take my column seriously, though, at first. I just quickly whipped it up a column each day, without much organization. A little bit after that, I took my columns more seriously, and organized it much better. I guess that showed a difference, because in 1999, I began to see signs in the crowds for my honor. I was shocked when that started happening. Along the way, I did help out a few sites, like some of the pages run by other LoP employees or whoever else, but I was hardly ever thanked for my help or plugs, so they don't deserve my mentioning. For the wrestling, I enjoyed all of the WWF stuff, while I began a hatred for Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. The two guys I enjoyed, I now hated. Why? Because Nash laid down for Hogan for the World Title, and I learned what a sleezebag Hall was.
I'd say in the summer of 1999, I probably really grew as a columnist. I used to stay up very late at night to write those, and I began an odd streak, too, which would go for over a year. Lordsofpain.net was also booming, as well, and it would eventually become one of the top wrestling sites on the net, which it still is today, unlike many other sites who have fallen. In the fall of 1999, I was given the honor (seriously) of becoming the assistant webmaster of LoP, which I proudly still am today. Also, I began the Phat Pharm, which gave columnists opportunities to get noticed, just like I did in 1998. I'm glad I started the Pharm, too, for I like to help out when I can, and it helped me to make some good friends, like Mr. Jaymz, who would later tag up with me to start News Orgy down the road.
2000 was another good year for me, as I would get mentioned by Diamond Dallas Page for reviewing his great book. I kept preaching about the struggles of WCW, which I proved to be correct on, after they were sold to the WWF. WCW probably made me more "negative" as they say, and I'm probably a lot more relaxed now when I write the Phat Daily Column.
But for all of the time I've been Mr. Tito, I wouldn't have made it with out the support of the READERS or the original opportunity by Calvin Martin. Both are great, and I appreciate everything. Thanks!
Oh yeah... how about my REAL NAME to be revealed? It is....... Oh Wait!!! According to the poll that I put on my Archives Page, the majority voted me to keep the "Mr. Tito" gimmick, by an overwhelming majority. Well, I guess those curious ones will just have to wait.......
Again, thanks a billion for reading and giving me support!