Welcome back to the RETURNING Wrath of Tito. Where have I been? Why the 2 week hiatus?!? Well, for that, you have to sign up for my premium section... Oh wait, I don't have one! Ok, you have to call my hotline for those details. Oh wait, I don't have one of those! Maybe sign up for my overpriced newsletters? Holy mother of God, I don't have one of those either!
Actually, I've been in rehab for my damn painkiller addiction. Ok, that's a total lie and I wish Limbaugh the best for his recovery towards pain medication. No, I just took 2 weeks off to have 2 weeks off. I needed it. Schoolwork is greatly picking up, as I'm going through tubs of Vaseline in dealing with the thesis paper. Plus, I had 2 exams last week, one on Tuesday and the other being on Wednesday. I had a recent death in the family which caused me to take the first day off, which was my Friday Smackdown column. I'm sorry, I just didn't feel like writing that day. Aside from that, I just don't care about the WWE product right now. I was somewhat in a boycott, too, regarding the Vince McMahon vs. Stephanie McMahon match, as I didn't watch either Smackdown or RAW last week! Baseball and studying became better and more important options to me, so I took them. I flipped around on RAW, saw that it sucked, and moved on. For Smackdown, I just read the spoilers and said "fuck that" and took another night off.
I did NOT watch No Mercy last night. Again, I will never buy into Vince and Stephanie's ego trip, and it's pathetic that Stephanie will come back because she wasn't the one who said "I quit" last night, for she lost when her mother threw in the towel. She'll be back after marrying Triple H, which will officially mark the end of the WWF/WWE for the long run with those two on top of the company, making business decisions when they refuse to cater to wrestling fans.
What I like is when people say I have an obvious hatred for the McMahon family. How is that so? Let me run a few obvious things by you. Triple H and Stephanie have been engaged since Valentine's Day in February. Before the groin injury/wedding, when did Triple H drop the RAW World Title? Ever since Hulk Hogan returned to the WWE earlier this year, Vince McMahon has been on the majority of Smackdowns and has feuded with his daughter Stephanie, ever since. Whether it was the long and drawn Mr. America feud, the feud with Sable, or the recent bullshit, they've dominated the show. No Mercy was pushed around the McMahons and it, from what I hear, destroyed the crowd heat for most of the matches last night since the other matches lost television time because Stephanie and Vince, TWO NON-WRESTLERS, come on and dominate the show.
Looking over to RAW... Triple H dominated throughout the year. Yeah, it's good to keep a champion for a while to add credibility to the World Title, but Triple H never had to win a tournament to earn the World Title. He was given it because of who he is, and that's Stephanie's fuck buddy and now fiance. Then, HHH gives the title to one of his best friends, Shawn Michaels, and guess who beats Michaels back? HHH, and Triple H would hold the title until losing it to Bill Goldberg, who lost to Triple H at Summerslam anyway. Everyone who has walked up to Triple H has fallen from grace, such as Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam, Scott Steiner (somewhat his fault), and Booker T. Then, you look at Kane. Before he started his push as psychotic, who beat Kane to unmask him? WHO THE HELL BEAT HIM!?!? Triple H, just as he did in late 2002, too. Then, HHH feuds with Kevin Nash in the biggest snorefest of a feud, ever. A real booker or an unbiased one would notice what a bad opponent Nash was and yanked him out of there, but not for Triple H!!! Gotta protect your own friends!!!
And don't get me started on Shane McMahon. He's so worthless. I honestly hope he botches a stunt to put him out for a while. My ticket for Hell is paid for, so I don't care about saying what I just said. It's KARMA for Shane, for he's full of himself. Shane is willing to compromise a wrestler's credibility just so they can sell his moves in the ring. He tries to perform a bigtime stunt to take the attention from the wrestlers and onto himself. He hogs up television time, just like his ugly sister and senile father, and he hasn't exactly helped to boom ratings nor has he brought extra interest to Pay Per Views. Actually, his karma will come when he finds out that Stephanie and Triple H will push him out the door or buy him out when it comes to running the WWE in the future.
The Fab 4 of McMahons, Vince, Stephanie, Shane, and Triple H (excluding Linda because she's more of a business lady behind the scenes, the only respectable one) are ruining the WWE. If you made all 4 vanish, shows would become more entertaining and fun to watch, and I guarantee that business would improve. Their decisions, especially creatively, are doing insane amounts of longterm damage to the WWE. So many younger wrestlers are getting disenfranchised within the WWE, and they'll leave and join another federation. Down the road, and I say give it 5 years, another federation will rise and challenge the WWE. Right now, the WWE has enough money to keep around many younger wrestlers just so they will never make it big elsewhere. However, as the WWE loses more and more profits, wrestlers will get cut and the WWE thinks cutting the younger wrestlers before they cut the stale veterans. Those younger wrestlers will find homes and hopefully, make another fed rise to the occasion.
If I were Rob Van Dam, I'd get the hell out of dodge. I guarantee that NWA-TNA would jack off at the chance of getting RVD on their shows. The WWE never wanted to push RVD because he's an ECW creation, and aside from the Dudley Boyz, ECW creations don't fly in the WWE. Despite the large crowd reactions, RVD is held down in the midcard and owned by Triple H because of where he came from. RVD should demand a significant amount of money AND creative power over his character/opponents, along with a significant World Title reign guaranteed to him. Otherwise, I'd say "screw you". I know the WWE is getting RVD for a cheap rate right now, and that's probably what they want to resign RVD to. I would keep complaining on radio shows/internet telecasts if I were RVD and task the WWE to maybe care about him for once beside a shitty Intercontinental title reign.
The WWE makes me laugh. Why? They hold major double standards for their wrestlers. A good example is our good pal Zach Gowen. Let's, for example, suggest that Gowen had a healthy second leg. For the sake of argument, let's also assume Gowen remains at the same stick-figure size, too. In the past, the WWE was reluctant to push the likes of Christian, Jeff Hardy, and even Edge based on their size. Secondly, you have muscle men like Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero who aren't given wins because they aren't tall enough. So here we have Zach Gowen, who isn't exactly tall and he's one of the skinniest wrestlers the WWE has. Isn't it a tad hypocritical of the WWE to bark at one wrestler for their size, yet push another guy who is clearly smaller? My case and point was made last night at No Mercy, where Gowen cleanly beat Matt Hardy, a man who has worked hard to increase his size for the past year and has great WWE experience. This is not an argument against Zach Gowen, for I have nothing against the guy, but why the double standard, WWE? Why use this poor guy's handicap for attention in the wrestling ring?
Road Warrior Hawk died the other day at the age of 45. Should I say some nice words? I'm sorry, but I hate hearing about a wrestler dying every 2 months. Yeah, I liked Hawk's work in the 1980's. The Road Warriors were fun to watch in the old NWA, especially when they first debuted the Doomsday Device, which made me nearly shit my pants in excitement! Hawk died in his sleep, which is a peculiar death at his age. 45 is too young to die for normal human beings, but here you had Hawk, a man part of the 1980's when wrestlers lived fast and needed extra pounds of muscle mass just to get television time. I hate to say his death is unfortunate, which in truth is, but dying in your sleep at age 45 just spells drugs or sleeping pills all over it. I said the same things about Curt Hennig and Miss Elizabeth, but it's true, especially with wrestlers who are out of televised wrestling here in the United States.
I do wish my best for the Hart family, as Stu Hart passed away last week. There's a man who not only contributed professional wrestling with great performers, but just an overall level of respectability, too. He took his dungeon seriously and took the sport of professional wrestling seriously. If you were a newcomer, he toughened you up to be ready for anything inside the ring (instead of the discouraging Bradshaw style of dealing with younger wrestlers). The Harts and many of the other great Canadian wrestlers have been great bi-products, and Stu Hart will be missed by the industry, for sure.
I have to say, Macho Man's "Be A Man" single has seriously grown on me. Must be the Hogan bashing. I actually caught Randy Savage on the "Love Line" radio show, as he was there to help with advice and provide for some comedy. It seems like Macho doesn't want to become a full time wrestler again, which is cool, for he's been in the business and it appears he's OK in the financial department. Plus, he's venturing in other ventures, such as this rap album (which some people actually like) and can get small jobs, such as a nice side character in "Spider-Man", along with providing his voice to cartoons. He did have some nasty things to say about Hulk Hogan and said he'd return to wrestling and/or Wrestlemania 20 if he can fight Hulk Hogan in a match. Not just any match, of course, as Savage wants him in a shoot fight, which I bet with a bad knee, Savage would now smoke Hogan in a bout.
I have nothing else to rant on, other than the baseball playoffs have been incredible. It's fun baseball to watch, although I can't fathom the fact which has the New York Yankees having around a $185 million payroll, while the Marlins have around $70 million. I hope the Marlins win just to piss off George Steinbrenner into spending over $200 million for next year, while firing his coaching staff. That, my friends, will be hilarious and it will continue to prove how insane baseball's economics truly are. Not every team can be in the largest television market AND have a fashionable logo that rappers have helped market to dwarf everyone's merchandise sales. It's funny how the majority of NBA and NFL teams actually make money, while the majority of MLB and NHL teams are losing money every year, and bankruptcy proceedings are beginning to show up for some teams.
On to RAW is BORE!
I warn you... I wasn't able to do a LIVE review this week...
The WWE did very well with their tributes to Hawk and Stu Hart. Some say the WWE doesn't have a heart. Well, both guys weren't employed by the WWE and they still did lengthy tributes to both.
RAW started with another 20 minute promo, or however long it was this week. Steve Austin came down, ran his mouth, same shit different day (SSDD). Test and Stacy come out to confront Austin, and eventually, Test provoked Austin when Stacy pushed Test into Austin, and Stunner for Test. Eric Bischoff then interrupted via Titan Tron and challenged Austin to a 5 on 5 match for Survivor Series. If Bischoff wins, Austin loses his GM spot. If Austin wins, he doesn't need to be provoked if he needs to fight. Oh my gosh!!! Could it be a good creative idea on RAW?!?!?! Hell just froze over! Good to see the Survivor Series format returning, since you know, that's the name of the event. Jericho and Steiner are Bischoff's first volunteers.
The Dudleys beat Rob Conway/Rene Dupree in a match which was a tribute Road Warrior Hawk. Funny, the Dudleys won with the Doomsday Device, a move they swiped to be just a regular move as a poke to the Road Warriors. So they are doing a tribute to them now? I guess things change when the guy, you know, DIES of all things. This match was your usual "WE CAN'T WRESTLE TAG FORMAT" match between Dudleys and Frenchies.
The next match was Booker T vs. Randy Orton. The match really wasn't much, for Randy Orton eventually bolted when Booker T was getting the best of him. Man, thanks for the booking, WWE, and the non-finish. Just what the fans want! Booker T would then announce that he's joining Austin's team for Survivor Series, because you know, the WWE has no good singles programs for him.
At the end of hour 1 or beginning of hour 2, RAW was going to feature Bill Goldberg vs. Shawn Michaels. However, it ended abruptly when Mark Henry attacked Goldberg to collect the $100,000. While he did end the match, Henry didn't take Goldberg out to collect the bounty. Ric Flair would later say that he had the guy to collect the bounty when talking to Teddy Long on the phone.
Solid tag team match between Lance Storm/RVD vs. Chris Jericho/Scott Steiner. Why is it that tag matches on RAW don't suck when Jericho and Storm are involved in the match? What should that tell you? Some good near finishes, but the heels won the match. Afterward, Chris Jericho made some moves on Trish Stratus. Interesting...
Next match was Molly Holly/Victoria vs. Trish Stratus/Lita. Usual blueprint of a women's tag team match, which is getting repetitive lately. Someone backstage got the clue that the tag matches are better than the singles matches, BUT the WWE now does the tag matches every friggin' night. Why not create women's tag belts instead of the singles belt? The heels win again, thanks to Steven Richards, but he was attacked by Christian. Christian then checks on Lita for more interesting developments. Was a new writer hired or something?
Ric Flair vs. Maven was up next. Not bad at all. Maven does have a lot to learn inside that ring, and Flair still has the ability to carry anybody. Did I mention that Ric Flair is STILL a regular wrestler? Hell, he even wrestled a match on the Wheeling, WV houseshow! Nobody important shows up for Wheeling, WV houseshows! I wonder if this is what Flair wants or not? Just curious, for he's wrestling every show lately. I guess someone has to when Triple H has too much sand in his vagina lately. Flair won the match with holding the tights to win. Classic!
KANE came out to the ring, and hardly looks hurt from his injuries sustained in the limo accident. Hell, he was barely bandaged up for the burning dumpster. Shane McMahon should be arrested for both incidents. At least jumper cables to the nuts wouldn't kill Shane McMahon, you know, since Shane has no balls to begin with. Kane will now have a rematch with Shane at Survivor Series... Ah shit. By the way, the other singles match booked already, backstage, is Vince McMahon vs. the Undertaker. Wow, the brothers are each fighting a McMahon. SMELL THE GOD DAMN BUYRATE!!!
The main event was Bill Goldberg vs. Shawn Michaels. The set up was if Michaels was the one who wanted to collect the bounty. The "payoff" was that it wasn't Michaels, but Bautista, returning from injury to collect the $100,000 by breaking Goldberg's ankle. Wow, what a tremendous payoff to an angle: a guy who wasn't over in the first place. The match wasn't going far, and it was abruptly interrupted by an OVW wrestler who isn't over and lacks the charisma to get over.
LAST WORD: RAW had some good flashes this week, but it also had its usual problems. Several injuries actually helped improve the wrestling product, and getting Steiner away from Stacy and into the main heel group helps greatly. The wrestling was a little better this week, but still lacking. I'll give this show a generous [ B- ] (B Minus), but I'll note that this show still needs more work. At least some storylines have shown some improvement.
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@That's all for today's column. Just chill till the next episode....