Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Wrath of Tito. RAW went down last night, as it was trying to impress us, being the show after the Royal Rumble. I'll talk about it in my review.
Again, tomorrow, there should be 2 columns from yours truly. First, a Wrath of Tito that will review Bobby "the Brain" Heenan's book and discuss the Pro Wrestling Illustrated YEAR IN REVIEW magazine, and secondly, a special new column co-wrote with my good friend and LoP co-worker, William Martinez. This new column should be a feature to LoP every Wednesday, for your reading pleasure (at least I hope).
Several readers congradulated me on my perfect Royal Rumble predictions, including calling the DQ finish to the Triple H vs. Steiner match. I won't dare gloat, because normally, I get torched on my predictions. I was lucky. With Triple H/Steiner, I saw Triple H needing someone to wrestle next month before say a Kevin Nash returns for Wrestlemania, so a DQ finish would guarantee a possible rematch. Again, I was lucky on my picks. I normally go 0.500 or below.
To follow up the Ric Flair stripped questioning, which I asked after Triple H was stripped last week on RAW. I believe I remember the time when Ricky Steamboat stripped Flair in 1989, just before one of their matches. I've also been told that Steamboat did the same thing to Flair in the late 1970's/early 1980's. Someone also told me that one of the Garvins also did it to Flair. So there you have it.
Raven and Justin Credible were released by the WWE. Raven just wrestled on RAW last week, too, for a spot in the Royal Rumble. Both, after coming from ECW, were big underachievers in the WWE. Raven is too old and battered to mean anything now, and plus his WCW career ruined his attitude. Justin Credible was overrated in my mind, and got a job based on connections, like from Heyman and some clique members, like X-Pac. I have a feeling that this is the first of many, many cuts in the WWE this Winter.
Several of you have asked where my BAD TITO columns have gone. I been finished writing those columns for over a year now. Why? Because some of the internet issues I've had in those foul-mouthed columns aren't what I really try to concern myself with now. I just don't care what others on the internet do concerning internet wrestling sites. I guess you can say that anything said in those columns are "water under the bridge" for me, and if anyone was personally offended by those columns, I apologize. They were meant to be columns to screw around with, anyway, and to put a comedic touch on what I thought was ridiculous on the internet back then.
By the way, great NBA game on Friday night between the Lakers and Rockets. I take back my comments regarding Yao Ming that I made on the message boards a while back, because he's been impressing me lately. I loved how Ming stuffed Shaq 3 times in the early goings of the game. If the NBA can produce this drama for future outings, the NBA may become fun to watch again as a whole.
On to my RAW review.
The show starts off with Triple H coming out, the man who wrestled one of the worst World Title match in the history of Pay Per View. Of course, it actually tops crap like Mabel vs. Diesel and other mid 1990 main events, but you get my point. It was HORRIBLE! But hey, my money is on both participants getting pushed. "It was not a pretty match", says Jim Ross. Gee, I wonder why the Ross Report was ripped off of WWE.com. "At the end of it, I made him look so badly", says Triple H. Irony? Triple H seems to be oddly shooting on Steiner. Scott Steiner comes out to respond. If the WWE is smart, they'll run the rematch tonight and realize that a Pay Per View rematch would be incredibly embarrassing. Uh oh... I sense a squash to end Steiner in the WWE. Flair wants Batista to fight Steiner instead, meaning that the young OVW wrestler might get an early big win in his career, aside from the likes of Kane. Not a bad start to RAW, whatsoever.
HA! RAW X is re-airing this Saturday at 8 pm! Oh my God! If you missed it, then why not tune in and see one of the worst productions in WWE history.
Our first match was Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam. The battle of the guys who wrestle the same match every night! At least Rob Van Dam still keeps himself in shape and still tries to perform well every night, unlike Mr. Hardy, who goes through the motions every show. I can't blame him, given his squash matches against Triple H, Steve Austin, and the Undertaker. By the way, who are the fans supposed to cheer for here? Nice stuff from Rob Van Dam off of the railing at ringside. RVD with a new move! Actually, that's the dropping slam by Fit Finley, but none the less, it's good stuff. You know Jeff Hardy is in hot water backstage when he can't win with his Swanton anymore. Rob Van Dam wins with a backslide? Strange finish, but a decent opening bout. A heel turn for Jeff Hardy might not be a bad idea, as he needs a change, and badly.
Backstage, Chris Nowinski points out that Bischoff has 21 days left. Huh? He had 30 days left last week, meaning he'd have 23 days left to succeed. Nowinski came from Harvard?
Randy Orton and Scott Steiner backstage. Oddly enough, Orton is growing on me...
Chief Morley and Nick Patrick backstage. Oh no, I smell a Dusty finish (referring to a finish where a championship match decision is reversed). Patrick didn't notice the brass knuckles, and we'll get a public apology now. Yay. Out in the ring, Morley has Patrick apologizing. Lots of "What" chants. YES! Keep it up fans! Morley asks Patrick to reverse the decision, but he apparently can't (although Hebner did during the Triple H vs. Jericho RAW match a few years ago). Morley calls out the Dudley Boyz and asks them to forfeit the RAW tag titles. Dudleys refuse. They would then take Vince's advice from last week and get the tables for Morley. Regal and Storm end up jumping the Dudleys, reminding us that this feud will continue. They put Bubba through the table, and Morley says a rematch will occur right now.
Val Venis vs. the Dudley Boyz was short, possibly the shortest in WWE history. They win the belts back, thus taking an even bigger shit on those tag team titles than before! Wow, I never thought that was possible.
Another mixed tag team match... Trish Stratus/Hurricane vs. Steven Richards/Victoria was next. Trish has had more tag team partners than Cher has had boyfriends. Victoria is looking pretty good tonight. She either looks great or horrible, depending on her tights. The ones with the orange flames make her look like a women's wrestler from 1980's hell. It's a shame that the WWE doesn't push Richards outside of being a demented women's wrestler's boyfriend. Good stuff with Victoria's tights going down. Good finish to the match to probably one of the better mixed matches, probably because it was short and Victoria was losing her pants.
Funny stuff with Shane McMahon's face on Eric Bischoff's dartboard.
I actually can't wait for Sean O'Haire to return. I liked him in WCW, and thought he had a bad start in the WWE. It's too bad that he'll probably lose the Seanton splash, though, which I thought was better executed than Jeff Hardy's Swanton.
Time for the announcement... Eric Bischoff is in the ring, talking about his 30 days. He didn't know what to do until getting a vision after hearing that Steve Austin wasn't invited. Funny how Bischoff is praising Austin, while Eric was the one who FIRED Austin from WCW in 1994 because Steve was injured. Austin will apparently be in the next edition of RAW magazine, telling his story. Ok, nice advertisement plug there. Austin will make his return at No Way Out, which the fans boo. That's the surprise, brother. Let's note that the RAW ratings were beginning to really tank while Austin was still on the show, so if you think he's going to boost ratings, maybe think again. He might spike them in the short run, but in the long run, we'll be back to the normal dumps. It would be hilarious if Austin decided not to come back, despite the hype of him coming back now.
The two biggest misused and disrespected wrestlers came out, as Booker T and Goldust got to fight 3 Minutes of Wrestling Experience. Ross called them 3 Count... HAHA!! Rico hardly looks like Tank Abbott, although Tank's tag team has more talent than 3 Minute Warning. WWE ticket sales ticker is on this match, showing how much the WWE cares about both teams. Wow, 3 Minute Warning almost matches with their tights. Goldust and Booker have great tag team chemistry. 3MW look to be very out of shape. I good 30-50 pounds lost be each guy wouldn't hurt. Nice double DDT by Booker T. The crowd erupted for the Spinarooni. Imagine if the WWE actually PUSHED Booker T on how the fans would erupt for him them. Good tag bout, thanks to Booker and Goldust carrying it all. Nice of Booker T/Goldust to beat the team that has the most backstage problems instead of a team like Storm/Regal or the Unamericans.
The WWE showed full clips of Chris Jericho's performance in the Royal Rumble. Good lord, this is a perfect time to push Jericho!
Stacy looks more impressive every week. Test vs. Chris Jericho was next. It would be insane if Jericho didn't win this match cleanly. I fear problems might arise in this match and the one against Shawn Michaels, as the fans will begin to CHEER Jericho instead of booing him as a heel. You watch, it will happen. I love how they are making Jericho use HBK moves. It actually makes Jericho look more impressive as a wrestler. Match went back and forth until Stacy Kiebler was "accidentally" hit. Watching the replay, I can't say for sure if she was hit with that chair or not? I don't want to say that I hope Stacy is actually hurt, but if this injury is worked, then screw the WWE for this. Too many worked injuries in the WWE in recent times. Looking at the replay, she put her hands up beforehand, so I'm doubting that it's for real. For her health, I hope it wasn't real, but I hate worked injuries.
Holy shit! Teddy Long seems to be back managing! On Martin Luther King day, the WWE pushes the race card in MLK's offer by saying the WWE is holding D'Lo back. Teddy now reminds me of the black promoter from Rocky 5. I'm glad to see a male manager on RAW now. Managers of the past like Heenan, Percy Pringle, Paul E. Dangerously, Jim Cornette, Jimmy Hart, and others ruled the world in their day. The match was D'Lo vs. Tommy Dreamer. Lots of cane shots, with some bad organization. D'Lo finally gets a RAW win after many attempts, as I guess getting a person of color as a manager was the trick? Who knows, who cares? The WWE needs to stop this shit with pushing the race card in the storylines.
Our main event was Scott Steiner vs. Batista. Let's see how long it will take for Steiner to blow up in the ring. Speaking of blowing up, I blew up the other night while playing Intramural hockey. I haven't played hockey in a while, and I was sucking wind after a short while. I keep myself in good shape, too, with my daily workout of push-ups, sit-ups, and curls, but I'm in no running shape (I'm 6 foot tall, weighing in at 165 pounds). See, you can keep yourself in good physical shape, but when it comes to running, you're fucked if you don't jog or hop on the stairmaster every once in a while. This match was short, as Randy Orton soon ran in the ring, and a massive beatdown of Orton, Flair, Batista, and Triple H on Steiner soon happened. Could this be the end of Steiner? Could this be the beginning of the new 4 Horsemen? Steiner is so winded from this beatdown that he actually looks like he took a massive gang-beating? Damn it, raise the hand signal. I like this stable, so let's see if any storylines or any good faces can challenge them.
LAST WORD: What can I say? This was a much better RAW than this year's first 2 attempts. While I disliked the tag title shit, the possible worked injury, and the shortened main event, I liked the rest of the show. I thought the storylines weren't so bad, as the new stable of Flair, Orton, Batista, and Triple H could be really good, and the pressure on Eric Bischoff to produce adds a bit. I also thought the matches were better this week, with RVD vs. Hardy being decent and Booker T/Goldust doing a great carry job of 3MW as well. I'll give this show a [ B ], as RAW goes to 1-2 for 2003. By the way, I'm going to keep up this good show-bad show record up throughout the year, thanks to the many readers who requested it.
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