Cry sweet tears of joy, touch the sky! Time to "make you smile" with the Wrath of Tito, or at least attempt to. This is really my first regular Wrath of Tito in a few weeks and it's nice to have more free time now that the hectic Christmas season is over. Today, we've got news items to discuss, multimedia to review, and Monday Night RAW. We are ACTION PACKED today, baby!
-The BIG NEWS OF THE WEEK is that former WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar is reportedly trying to make a comeback in the WWE. Professional football has obviously not worked out for Lesnar, and he's now crawling back to the profession that netted him $5-$10 million per year. The WWE, however, is hesitant to take Lesnar back or at least wants to teach Lesnar a lesson. This is typical WWE, as they have Lesnar under contract for a few more months and they can risk this kind of arrogant behavior because Lesnar can't talk to another fed for the length of his contract and probably 90 days afterward. The WWE is playing hardball and possibly rightfully so. Lesnar was a big financial investment on the WWE's part. They paid him top dollar during the heydays of the Monday Night Wars to join the WWE as the NCAA heavyweight champion in amateur wrestling. He was a big staple of the Smackdown roster, and without him, the show has tanked in the ratings and on buyrates. While Lesnar wasn't a huge draw, it's my opinion that he kept things from getting worse.
If I were an executive of the WWE, I would give Brock Lesnar a second chance. They need depth in experienced and name wrestlers. Lesnar's attempts at the NFL gave him more publicity outside of the WWE than his own NCAA heavyweight wrestling title ever did. While he failed at the NFL, for Christ's sakes, it's the NFL! Players have roughly 3 years shelflife and their contracts are NOT guaranteed. Only the best and brightest players make the NFL. Lesnar was a guy who didn't play college ball and he at least got invited to the Vikings training camp. That's an accomplishment in itself and earning the respect of fellow NFL players for giving it his all is another. The NFL tryout did NOT diminish Lesnar's starpower. The WWE thinks it is, but they are the same corporation who thought they could create a football league or a professional bodybuilding show.
Smackdown NEEDS him. If the WWE has a bone to pick with Lesnar, then let him pay his dues. Lesnar's worth bringing back if he can comeback to the main event somewhere down the road. He's still young to be a wrestler and he's better than what the current Smackdown product is putting forth. Bring back the guy and save Smackdown!
-I'll tell you, the Rock is extremely lucky for his next movie role. I caught the "Meet the Fockers" (which is a fantastic movie with Hoffman and Steisand playing fantastic parents for Ben Stiller), and they had a preview for the movie "Be Cool", which I believe is from the same makers of "Get Shorty", if I'm not mistaken. But anyway, the Rock joins a cast of stars such as John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn, Danny DeVito, Harvey Keitel, among many others... This movie is going to do some massive bank, especially with Travolta and Thurman reuniting on screen. Getting included with all of these names will only help the Rock's name to get kicked around in Hollywood. Best of luck to him.
In my opinion, the Rock needs a role that stands out. Much like Arnold did with the Terminator, the Rock needs something that sets him apart from the rest of Hollywood's action stars. Come on, Hollywood, give the Rock something unique!
-Funny how it's reported that Rey Mysterio will be used more than the Cruiserweight division, but do you remember last year after Wrestlemania? The WWE creative team promised Mysterio a push outside of the division and then told him "we have nothing for you". The best use of Mysterio is in the tag division, which the WWE is doing with Rob Van Dam. There will come a point and time when the WWE might realize that they could push Rob Van Dam effectively, and what then? Is it believeable that Mysterio can beat a heavyweight wrestler? No, it will never be, and in Vince McMahon's mind, that will always be a fact. Rey's only super popular among the Cruiserweights because he's one of the few wrestlers that the WWE pushes from that division, while the rest grab straws for life. The ridiculous neglect of the Cruiserweight division is the reason Mysterio is the only popular guy from that bunch (plus, his WCW past).
-Oh baby, I love a good Chyna/Joanie Laurer headline! It gives me a good chance to let my favorite former steroid using musclehead female some business! She was arrested recently for domestic battery for punching X-Pac/Sean Waltman in the face several times on January 1st. This relationship has been nothing but a trainwreck. Domestic violence has occurred before, along with many other public occurrences of stupidity. Releasing a porn video together is the icing on the cake when it comes to anything regarding their relationship. If I were a police officer and Waltman/Laurer called in to report a domestic disturbance, I'd instantly roll my eyes. Both Chyna and X-Pac are trying their very best to grab public attention. They crave attention, especially since their primadonna attititudes won't accept the fact that their best times were in the WWE. If they keep this ridiculous begging for attention up, we'll keep treating them like primadonnas!
By the way, I unfortunately caught some stills of their sex video... Pretty sick stuff, as Chyna's body has somewhat deteriorated since her decent Playboy spread. By the way, it's funny that X-Pac and Chyna were invited to the Playboy mansion this year, which is where they were at before Chyna was arrested for domestic battery. Why? Playboy usually frowns upon and blackballs any former Playboy centerfolds who do porn. Very surprising.
BUT, I will say one thing positive about Chyna... I am anxious to see her on VH1's Surreal Life. That's one of the few reality shows I really enjoy, given that it's celebrities having to act like real people for once. I also love a good trainwreck, and I'm sure Da Brat and Chyna will get along, JUST FINE.
-I've been putting it off, but here goes... Here's my brief review of Jerry Lawler's "Good to Be King"... It's like a sandwich. You have the bread on top, the meat/cheese in the middle, and bread on the bottom. I'm not a big fan of the bread, for it's only a compliment to the goods in the middle. Much like Lawler's book... It's dry, like bread, at first, delicious in the middle, and dry like bread at the end. The beginning of the book is a long and extensive story about Lawler's childhood and pre-wrestling era stuff. The middle is fantastic with great road stories, information about Lawler's wrestling career, and whatnot. The end is a mix of going off topic too much and not putting a good finish on the book. I'd say the book is worth reading just for the enjoyment of the middle section, but otherwise, it might be too painful for you to read. I found Lawler a bit strange at times, too. For instance, he liked to take credit for the creation of certain gimmicks or how successful Memphis wrestling may have been. I read a lot of magazines when I was little and didn't hear that much hype about Lawler's work in Memphis. Maybe it didn't get a lot of press? I don't know. Lawler has a legit claim with the creation of "King" Harley Race from his drawing power, though. But the strange part was the section after his break up with the Kat. He just seemed a bit too creepy with his search for a new valet and possible new girlfriend.
Overall, I'll give Jerry Lawler's book a [ B- ], for I've read a whole lot worse out there. The middle stuff makes the grade quite worthy of what it is in comparison to the beginning and end.
-For Christmas, by surprise, I got the Eddie Guerrero DVD (thanks Mrs. Tito!). I was planning on getting it eventually... I thought the whole story mode segment was a bit too brief, unlike Benoit's, which is very extensive. I was impressed with Mrs. Guerrero for her love and support of her husband, even though Eddie has had some tough bouts with substance abuse. But this DVD seems to have more matches featured than the next DVD, and I have no problem with that, whatsoever. I wonder if Eddie frowns at the RVD RAW match on the DVD, given that Eddie criticized fans for calling it a great match? I would have put a WCW bout between Benoit and Guerrero on the DVD instead of the WWE United States title match, in my opinion...
On to RAW, while we're young!
Backstage, to continue to further Batista's push, he wanted his $100 from HHH regarding last week's RAW (which I give an A+ for one of the best RAWs of 2004). Backstage segments, like this one, where Batista is made to have tensions with Triple H and then backing it up with good performances (destroying Rhyno last week in record time and beating Benoit this week) are getting Batista over. If this is kept up, Batista is the new main eventer that the WWE has been looking for a long time. Not just pushing one guy to the top for the sake of doing it (Orton), but for properly thinking this process out and letting fans believe he's the next man to take the ball and run with it. Batista eventually turned down HHH's money, saying he was only "kidding". The way Batista is getting built up has to please the WWE with its response, and Wrestlemania 21, in my opinion, should now feature HHH vs. Batista, NOT Orton vs. HHH. Batista is far more ready than Orton for the main event spotlight at this point.
Backstage, Gene Snitsky speaks with Maria (I think that's her name, but otherwise, Terri Runnels 2005), but the interview can't be completed because Snitsky has pussy on his mind and tells Maria as such. Then, Snisky cuts another over-the-top promo and cracks me up in the process. I don't think the WWE expected Snitsky to work out so well.
The next match of the night was Chris Jericho versus Edge. Can't complain here, as it's good bout between whom I consider to be good workers. Someone was on point with the finishes tonight, as the ending with the roll up finish in the corner and the excellent positioning of the referee for Edge to hold the ropes was very top notch. Did the WWE hire Pat Patterson back, who was famous for his well timed finishes to matches? The way Edge is getting pushed is beyond well done as well.
Next match was Shelton Benjamin vs. Sylvain Grenier, and this match was terrible. Grenier is by far and away the worse singles wrestler out of La Resistance and he was exposed heavily as such against Benjamin. Good thing the match was short.
The next unfortunate segment was the debate between Jerry Lawler/Jim Ross and Mohammed Hassan (sp?) and his manager. Excuse me for the misspelling of any names, and don't bother emailing me to correct me about it. Nothing like having an extremely tasteless segment about 9/11 in New York City. Thanks, WWE, for showing no class as usual. I'm sure somebody out there will say this segment was over. Of course it was over! I guarantee that a good handful of fans had friends or relatives who died in the Twin Towers on 9/11, and the fact that the terrorist attack happened in their own city doesn't help matters, either. Stupid fucking segment and it completely insults me as a wrestling fan. The WWE should have learned when Lance Storm was playing up the 9/11 tragedy during his Unamericans gimmick. Eventually, Hassan got mad at the retort from Ross/Lawler, mainly Ross's "love it or leave it" comment, and a massive beatdown of Lawler and Ross commenced. Cheap heat completely and Hassan better wrestle his ass off if the WWE wants to add any credibility to the gimmick. The Coach would replace both Lawler and Ross for a while and oddly return to his face commentating. That's more bizarre than the segment we just witnessed.
Victoria vs. Trish Stratus was up next. Man, Victoria looked her best tonight... not her wrestling, but she was smokin' hot! Victoria, though, gave little competition to Trish Stratus in what was a very short match. After the match, Trish talked some smack and prompted Lita to come out for a CATFIGHT! CATFIGHT! This would excite Gene Snitsky to come out, but then excite Kane to come out as well eventually. Snitsky ran away, though, as I wonder what will be of Gene Snitsky once Kane destroys him at New Year's Revolution.
I wonder who paid the WWE for the Lindsay Lohan CD plug? They really put over her music tonight with both Eugene and William Regal wanting to listen to it. I wonder what Christy did to Eugene to motivate him for his upcoming match? Hmm...
The very next match was Christian vs. Eugene. The WWE showed clips of Regal vs. Tyson Tomko from Heat the previous night. The WWE needs to do more of that to promote the badly failing show on Sunday evenings. Here's a Sunday Night Heat idea... put Shane McMahon back as an announcer! This match was just your typical paint-by-the-numbers Tag Team hype match for a Pay Per View, and Christian won by using the ropes (repetition, come on guys!). I'm certainly not into this whole Captain Charisma gimmick. Christian needs to revert to his attitude during the Edge & Christian days instead of this whiny hardass he tries to play these days.
The main event was Triple H vs. Randy Orton, which I'm surprised they were willing to give away on free TV. You know, since it's going to be such a great match to watch at Wrestlemania 21 (*sarcasm*). Boring match and the usually hot New York crowds treated it as such with silence. The match only had a spark when Shawn Michaels came down as the referee. But man, if the WWE is serious about making this one of the Wrestlemania 21 main events, they are absolutely out of their minds based on what we've seen from HHH vs. Orton at this point. Eventually, HHH's apprentice won the match with the RKO after a few counters, thus probably meaning that HHH will collect yet another World Title reign. That would be funny, especially if Orton wins the Royal Rumble. Just shove this terrible feud down our throat, guys.
LAST WORD: GREAT first hour and a weak second hour. I don't know how many times I must insist that the WWE pushed Randy Orton too soon, and tonight proved my point once again with the lame performance against HHH. I'm really digging the stuff with both Edge and Batista, for they should be getting a better chance at the main event spotlight than Orton. After last week's incredibly strong RAW, it's hard to follow up to that performance, especially with a Pay Per View to hype. I'll go [ B- ] (B minus) on this RAW, insisting that the first hour outweight the second hour's shortcomings. Man, I'm a nice guy.
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