Welcome to the returning edition of the Wrath of Tito. I haven't really focused on WWE television for about 2 weeks, taking a brief break from it all. Usually, I'll sit down or lay down to watch the show and write the column later. This time, I'd casually watch the shows or not watch the shows at all. I remember watching an edition of RAW while wrapping all of my Christmas gifts, while watching a Smackdown up to a Benoit match and saying hell with the main event.
But now I'm back with my regular Tuesday column, which I'll be featuring the LIVE RAW reviews again. I will note, however, that this quarter in school appears to be incredibly busy in terms of my school work. I have a larger classload this quarter, and one class that I've been in already has a LOT of reading to take on. Damn it, I want to read about Hulk Hogan, Jerry Lawler, or Bobby Heenan! I actually started Hogan's book late last night, and I'm about 40 pages into it already. But anyway, if I don't regularly post Friday columns, you'll know why. I'll just put all of my thoughts into the Tuesday columns, like I used to do at the beginning of last quarter.
It's nice to see how many Ohio State Buckeye fans have been suddenly appearing here in the good state of Ohio. Where were you several years ago? Where were you when the Buckeyes were playing their regular season games? Well anyway, that was one hell of a National Championship game there Friday night. And on another NFL note, the Saturday games sucked, but the Sunday games were great! Kudos to former XFL player, Tommy Maddox, for playing a great second half to lead the Steelers to victory. If the XFL did anything good for society, it was to put a fire underneath Maddox's ass and finally put Kordell Stewart's ass on the bench for good.
In news you won't here anywhere else... The Best of Backyard Wrestling Volume 5 will be released in a few months. There has been a delay due to Backyard Inc. wanting to do more editing on the 5th wrestling tape of the series, according to the members of Backyard Inc. that I talked to on the phone. Volume 5 was supposed to either come out in September, November, or early December, but never did. I'll keep an eye on the situation for anyone who cares.
It's interesting to hear stories about how Scott Steiner is "blowing up" in the ring, meaning that once he enters a match, he becomes quickly tired to the point where he can't perform up to an acceptable level. The WWE has been running tag matches at houseshows to hide Steiner's poor cardiovascular condition. Hey, didn't this exact thing happen to Kevin Nash during 2002? When he came in, he wasn't in good running shape, and he'd reportedly "blow up" in the ring. In fact, being in poor shape led to Nash getting injured very quickly each time he tried to wrestle on a regular basis. Just because these wrestlers sign high 6 figure contracts, it doesn't mean they are able to avoid some in ring training, say in Ohio Valley Wrestling before coming in. Kevin Nash went to OVW for like a few days before leaving there forever. They are getting paid good money anyway, so why not get them in great shape to make money on that investment.
I wouldn't get your hopes up much for a Bret Hart and Vince McMahon reunion. Bret has a lot of pride about wrestling, and Vince McMahon has not lived up to several promises to Bret about WWF video tapes and pictures in the past. However, if it takes Bret to just make ONE WWE appearance by showing up for the Anniversary special for RAW, just to get the tape and video library of his WWF career, I believe he'll do it. But just that one appearance.
I have nothing more to add about the wrestling world. I will say, though, that I contributed one article to Snackbar Games, a new video game site. I was approached to submit some articles about the older Nintendo systems, and I just submitted one about the Nintendo 64's Mario Tennis, one of my favorite games ever. You can find it in the "Features" section of the site. Go to http://www.snackbar-games.com to check out Snackbar Games!
Let's get RAW!
A posedown done, here in 2003? God damn, get with the times, WWE.
The Dudleys come out for something, but Eric Bischoff and Chief Morley come out to announce some "changes" around here. Clips are shown of the stupid Ross/Lawler vs. Storm/Regal, which some liked, some didn't. I didn't. They aren't happy with the Dudleys actions in that match, so a handicap match against 3 Minute Rico is formed. Batista is also in on the match, and he's one of the RAW 15 Royal Rumble participants, by the way. Wow, listen to that roar of the crowd. Pushing him as fucking Deacon Batista really was a good idea on Smackdown, eh? Speaking of that, do you realize that the former Deacon is wrestling his former boss, D'Von Dudley??? Aside from Rico, we can call these guys TEAM GREEN, given the short in ring experience of these guys. Gotta love how they are just standing around in the ring until they eventually figure out a move to do. Flair gets involved too, and it's a complete SLOPFEST beatdown! That crowd sure sounds shocked by this beatdown. Oh wait, that sound I'm hearing is me groaning from watching this. Jim Ross said: "what a hideous way to start off the RAW of the new year". Wow, I totally agree with Ross for the first time in a while.
Regal/Storm confront Lawler and Jim Ross, and bore us. They go down for some more beatings on the Dudleys. I thought with Storm, the Maple Leaf submission was perfectly fine. The Sharpshooter has been overdone throughout the years. I don't know if I can get up for a Storm/Regal vs. Dudley Boyz match at the Royal Rumble.
Backstage, we had the first of many Triple H/Steiner segments. I hope they have Steiner on that treadmill or running track to make their match watchable at the Royal Rumble.
Man, there's no Monday Night Football to turn to!
4 Horsemen on this week's Confidential?!? AWESOME!
Yet another Women's bout. GIVE IT UP WWE!!! Don't keep making the same mistakes of 2002. Molly Holly/Victoria vs. Trish Stratus/Jackie was our next bout. I actually hear Victoria's theme music everywhere now. This match was a carbon copy of many of the other women's matches the WWE did in 2002 with these same ladies. The finish was sad, too, as it had heel boyfriend taking a cheapshot at a woman for the win. I can see that the creative department is still recycling material.
Funny to see Goldust messing around with Terri during the backstage interview. Terri almost bursted out with laughter during the segment. Match is made after Bischoff was angry with Goldust and Booker T's comments, as Booker T/Goldust will take on Regal/Storm. I hope a title change does NOT happen.
Chris Jericho hits the ring, mic in hand. He talks about wanting a title shot at Wrestlemania, and announces he's in the Royal Rumble match in 2 weeks. Uh huh, like he has any chance in hell of winning it. Shawn Michaels interrupts, and gets on the mic. What is Shawn talking about for being the "best" in the company? He's making no sense. I like Michaels's challenge of telling Jericho if he wants to be the best, he should win the Royal Rumble while being the first wrestler to enter the match. "Don't you dare tell me what it takes to be the best, you self-centered son of a bitch!", says Chris Jericho. Ohhhh! Looks like HBK is using the Bugs Bunny approach in convincing Jericho to take the draw. HBK is in the Royal Rumble, too. Michaels and Jericho about get it on, but Randy Orton interrupts. Wow, what a lame way to end that brawl. I still don't see how many are saying he's going to become the next Rock. Orton was eventually punched, and a huge clusterfuck was with some brawling between Jericho, Orton, and Christian against HBK, Kane, and Rob Van Dam. I hope you enjoy many tag team matches from those 6 guys. Typical WWE formula.
Booker T/Goldust vs. Storm/Regal is next. I really hope the WWE doesn't make the mistake of giving the belts to Regal and Storm, although I have a feeling the title change MAY happen as a favor of putting over Ross and Lawler at RAW 2 weeks ago or whatever. "There's nothing beautiful about this tag team combination", Jim Ross said of Storm and Regal. Very correct. Damn, the upper decks of the arena tonight are very dark. Looks like Thunder attendance. Dull match thus far. It's hard to cheer for Booker T/Goldust when the heels aren't that good at generating heat. The many referees coming in scares me. Leave it to a Spinaroonie to get the fans into this match. More referee nonsense, and Regal hits everyone with the Brass knucks. MOTHERFUCKING BULLSHIT!!! The worst tag team in the WWE was just awarded the RAW Tag Team Titles. Those two uncharismatic fucks aren't going to help business as champions. The 2 biggest faces on the RAW roster were just shit on, once again, as I should start a poll for the exact date when the WWE starts LOSING money in 2003. Bonehead decisions allows for the WWE to get what they deserve.
RAW Retro featured Marc Mero and Sable, as Sable looked her best in that bikini, in my opinion (aside from being naked in Playboy).
Stacy is looking fantastic tonight. TEST NEEDS NEW MUSIC!!!!!!!!! Test vs. Chris Nowinski is next. A new alliance between D'Lo and Nowinski seems to have been formed. I don't see how playing the race card for D'Lo will somehow revitalize his career, which is a lost cause at this point. This match would have been a good midcard match for Mtv Heat instead. Devastating roll of the dice on Nowinski, though.
Christian is also in the Royal Rumble...
Triple H and Scott Steiner have an abnormal amount of veins sticking out of their arms. Does that imply anything whatsoever?
And now, a segment straight out of 1980's HELL! The Scott Steiner vs. Triple H posedown! Triple H wanted fans to judge this posedown, and he picked planted fans as his judges. Local indy talent, I assume. BORRRRRRRRRRRRING! After a long delay, Scott Steiner comes out. Triple H went a little too crazy with the liquid tan. Triple H actually looks bigger when he tries to pose. The judges all voted for Triple H, showing that it's rigged. This long, drawn out pile of shit turned into a push up contest, which takes the ratings further. The EVIL judges attack Scott Steiner, but Steiner pounds the trained indy wrestlers. SMELL THE RATINGS!
Our main event was Chris Jericho/Christian vs. Rob Van Dam/Kane. Jericho, Kane, and RVD have the luxury of being Triple H leftovers, so having them in the main event won't help anything right now. Decent tag match, but nothing spectacular.
NEXT WEEK ON RAW: William Regal vs. Jerry Lawler. At the end, Eric Bischoff gets a phone call. Also, Vince McMahon will be on RAW next week, because when the ratings tank, Vince always feels that his appearances bring back the fans. Uh huh.
LAST WORD: Totally absurd way to start off RAW for 2003. Bad matches, lame segments, and an insulting title change with Storm and Regal as the new tag champions. When the fans don't pop for wrestlers, then that means you shouldn't push them. That's not the case for Regal and Storm, one of the more lame tag teams ever. I'll give this a
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