Welcome to the column that's worth debating over, the Wrath of Tito! Yes, it's a day late, but my time is valuable. I picked up an additional job, as I'm getting worked like a DOG now. Plus, at the end of the day, the last thing on my mind is to sit down for 2 hours and talk about wrasslin'. I'd rather freely browse the internet or play a little video games with my free time, which I seem to have less of lately. Today's column will discuss wrestling news and notes, Smackdown, and RAW.
-I'll tell you, watching Smackdown and the Presidential debates side by side is a total mindfuck! I have two TVs rigged up to cable in my room, and I had both things going at once from 9-10. I'm telling you, this was HARD to do! I thought the Dudleys vs. Haas/Rico was a good tag team bout... Bob Holly vs. JBL was actually decent. I'll give credit where it's due. I'm sure this performance will lead to yet another Holly push. Holly should be used in this position, and that's always being a tough challenger for a main eventer... but not a main eventer himself. The main event of Smackdown was Eddie Guerrero/RVD vs. Jindrak/Reigns. Was the Jindrak/Angle connection explained? I wasn't paying attention. The main event tag was OK at best... went a little longer than it should, as Jindrak/Reigns had to be tough for Eddie/RVD to work with. Jindrak/Reigns are no Team Angle (Haas/Benjamin).
The show seemed somewhat like a throwaway show because the WWE knew that Smackdown would get clobbered by the 1st presidential debates (to the tune of 62 million viewers!). Overall, it seemed like a dry show to me and didn't excite me to buy No Mercy. [ C ]
-I didn't catch NWA-TNA Impact!... sorry!
-I'm really enjoying WWE Day of Reckoning for the Gamecube. The story mode can be quite difficult, as it's hard wrestling tag matches when your computer controlled tag team partner MUST make the pin. I mean, I had to run in with cheapshots and special moves and THEN attack the illegal man so he wouldn't ruin the pin! The create a wrestler is pretty solid and better than the other CD-rom create a wrestler modes I've seen (nothing beats Wrestlemania 2000's create a wrestler!). I'll give a full review on this later.
-The rumors are spreading about Kane's WWE status. I sincerely hope his contract is coming up. Why? It's time for Kane to have some bargaining leverage. It's time for Kane to get the same deal that Triple H did in 1999: a legit main event push. I'm tired of all of this necrophilia, pyromania, pregnancy, and other riduculous angles that Kane (or Glenn Jacobs) has endured since his debut as Kane in 1997. He's a talented performer and one of the most agile bigman wrestlers around. Putting him up against good wrestlers, he's put out some pretty classic bouts. Make him wrestle stupid gimmick matches against Shane McMahon or against Triple H, who never gives Kane the benefit of the doubt in the ring, and you won't see what Kane could become.
The FACT is that Kane deserves better from the WWE. This guy is a seasoned veteran, as he's worked with the WWE since 1995. He's done EVERYTHING that the WWE has asked of him. He's elevated and put over many wrestlers without any hesitation, and for this, he was only awarded a 24 hour World Title reign. Anytime he's become a big face, it's quickly squashed. Kane was getting seriously over as a face in late 2002 before he fought Triple H. Then, the WWE painted Kane up as a necrophiliac with the horrible Katie Vick angle. Triple H beat him on the Pay Per Views and that face momentum was quickly finished. In addition, unmasking Kane remains a major mistake, just as feuding with Shane McMahon was. Then, you have this whole Lita pregnancy which has been an embarrassment to the WWE.
I'm hoping that Kane gets a better deal with the WWE or that the WWE refuses to pay Kane more and outright releases him. NWA-TNA would LOVE to sink their teeth into Glenn Jacobs and expose how ridiculous the WWE pushed him as Kane. Jacobs is a solid performer and is better than your everyday big man. He wouldn't have to suffer through a ridiculous gimmick or stupid soap opera writers giving him ludicrous storylines. Therefore, let's hope that the Honky Tonk Man is correct, FOR ONCE, and that Kane could be leaving the WWE soon.
-Is anybody amazed that Randy Orton was taken off the Main Event voting poll to determine who is going to wrestle Triple H? The WWE clearly knows, now, that Randy Orton is NOT ready to be in the main event. He needs seasoning, lots of seasoning, for wrestling fans to want to see this on Wrestlemania 21. In fact, Wrestlemania 21 could now suffer with HHH vs. Randy Orton as one of the co-main events! The WWE would have been heavily embarrassed by seeing the likes of Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit DESTROYING Orton in internet voting, and hell, maybe even Edge beating Orton as well in voting. It would have been even more embarrassing to see the WWE rig the vote and make Orton win the voting, even though he didn't and fans would be able to see through it. Randy Orton is NOT ready for the main event, let alone a World Title reign. Maybe in a few years... yes. But the dry reaction he got on Monday Night in front of die-hard New York City fans... Orton is NOT ready.
-I wouldn't doubt that Hulk Hogan would return to the WWE just to promote his daughter's pop music career. Hogan has seriously become a major WHORE for the music industry, pimping his name, fame, or whatever else to anything that will promote his daughter. Now, I appreciate Hogan trying to help his daughter. He's a father and you want the best for your children. HOWEVER, can't Brooke's music talent get attention instead of going to every radio and television outlet that will listen for promotion? I mean, you have Lou Pearlman as her manager, and he's the man who put out crap-acts like New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, and even LFO to major success. Yeah, you don't have creative power with Pearlman... BUT, he knows the industry and can promote acts to radio stations, television, and other media outlets that instantly paint up a band or musician to become very successful.
My opinion on Brooke Hogan or Bollea is that her music is nothing special or unique in comparison to other female teen pop acts. Nothing against her or the Hogan family, but the song she wrote or the song Pearlman wants to put out are not that impressive. I don't think either would catch on with radio play.
But why would the WWE want to take on Hulk Hogan to promote his daughter's music career? That makes zero sense for the WWE, as they'd like to promote themselves, NOT someone's music career. With all due respect to Hogan, his only focus will be on helping his daughter, not the current WWE product that needs a severe amount of help from good starpower. I don't think the male audiences would be interested in Brooke's music... however, Brooke does happen to look pretty decent and if she can eventually contribute to the WWE product as a "diva"...
-I wouldn't look much into the Vince McMahon and Ric Flair situation. The reports of their "confrontation" seem to be overblown. If anything, Vince was worried about Spike TV censors or "standards and practices" and just lectured Flair on his "virgins" comment. That's it. I highly doubt that Vince was willing to fire Flair over it. Now, if the mainstream press or extreme right-wing parental groups (Parents Television Council - parentstv.org) decide to start something, namely since the comments were within the no-no 9-10 hour, which is much more regulated on content than 10-11 hour, that's different. That could cause the Nature Boy to lose his job. Then again, Flair was charged of sexual harassment on the European plane trip from hell when Flair was in a bathrobe and exposing himself to flight attendants (something that Flair didn't mention in his book!) and Flair wasn't excused from the WWE for that.
Onto the RAW portion...
VERY NICE match between Shawn Michaels vs. Christian. Christian can be decent if he's given newer opponents, in addition to strong opponents like Michaels. It's about time Christian wrestled someone good other than Jericho. This match had the interest of the Madison Square Garden fans and it was some pretty solid back and forth action. No complaints, whatsoever, about this match and I'd like to see more of this in the future. Pretty please?
Damn, Lita's acting skills need HELP! You'd figure that the WWE would hire an acting coach or two with all of the scripted promos or interviews they have the wrestlers do. Lita's WWE career is seriously in a mess because of this pathetic storyline.
HOWEVER, a guy who has benefitted from the Kane-Lita storyline is Gene Snitsky of all people. He's now playing off his miscarriage actions and he came out for an interview with a baby carriage! If there was ever a positive bi-product of this storyline, here it is... it has created a new possible star for the WWE! An upset Kane came out and tried to attack Snitsky. However, Snitsky had a steel rod in the carriage and beat up Kane! Amazing... Bischoff would later create a "weapon of choice" match between Kane and Snitsky at Taboo Tuesday. Snitsky BETTER win that match or Snitsky's momentum could be forever finished.
The next match was Chris Benoit vs. Batista. By the way, ever since Benoit lost his title at Summerslam, why hasn't the words "world title match" and "Chris Benoit" been ever put in the same sentence? Seriously, why can't the man with the longest title reign of 2004 still go after the World Title? Yeah, he might win a shot at Taboo Tuesday, but to completely excuse him from the World Title picture? Of course, they must exclude Benoit, a PROVEN champion, when in consideration of shoving Randy Orton down our throats. Speaking of Orton, a "barred from the arena" Randy Orton interrupted this match by attacking Batista. Thanks for ruining the match, Randy. I seriously would love to see Benoit and Batista get at least 10 minutes with a legit finish sometime in my lifetime. This match, however, was short and had a pathetic DQ finish. Orton was arrested afterwards, as the WWE is really trying to get him over as a badass babyface. It's not working when you don't have the look of a badass and when you weren't even over as a badass heel.
Eric Bischoff comes out to talk about Taboo Tuesday, as he seems to be the only human on earth talking about that show. He added the stipulation to Kane vs. Snitsky, and whatever else. He then calls out his nephew, Eugene. Bischoff then tries to entice Eugene with Diva Search runner-up Carmella, who I guarantee the WWE has signed to a contract in addition to Christy, who also came out for this segment in support of Eugene. The sad fact out of this segment is that we get to see Carmella vs. Christy in an actual wrestle match. While both are clearly hot pieces of ass, that does not distinguish how embarrassing it will be for two non-trained females trying to duke it out in the ring. My advice: watch ECW tapes and look at the catfights between Francine and Beulah to show you how two non-wrestlers can brawl in a ring.
Next, it was a very short match between Hurricane/Rosey vs. La Resistance. La Resistance won, and afterward, Rosey's mask was twisted around and he couldn't see. This enabled Rosey to accidentally slam the Hurricane. I hate how the WWE turns wrestlers into heels after accidents between tag partners. Heels aren't supposed to gain sympathy before they join the darkside.
I liked the idea of Jericho's IC title possible challengers being Lumberjacks for the main event between Jericho vs. HHH. Good booking idea.
Molly vs. Stacy Keibler was an eyesore. I don't see how Stacy can even be a legit wrestler against a very well established female wrestler like Molly. It's ridiculous! While I won't discount Stacy's Bulldog Summerslam 1992 pin, as that's a bitch to get out of, but from her previous offense. Seriously, if I had a female as skinny as Stacy with her foot in my throat, I'd just push her off. What says that she actually has power or strength behind those long, lucious legs? I guess this match now sets up Trish Stratus vs. Stacy Keibler at Taboo Tuesday? Talk about discrediting the entire Women's division.
The main event could have been better with Chris Jericho vs. Triple H in a Lumberjack match. The Lumberjacks should have had actual leather straps like the old days... The match was too short and served more of a way to hype Jericho's Intercontinental match at Taboo Tuesday than just a legit main event. After HHH won after some tension between Jericho and Rhyno, Randy Orton pulls another trick out of the WWE face playbook and returns to the arena, clearing the ring with an RKO for everybody in sight. It drew a very dismal reaction from the MSG fans, especially panning to the crowd who were barely clapping. Yeah, WWE, keep shoving him down our throats while guys like Kane get no respect.
LAST WORD: Another show with Randy Orton getting shoved down our throats, whether we like it or not. I don't like it, as my care for the WWE is dwindling by the week. My 6th year anniversary of my column writing is coming up in 20 days and my patience watching and writing about the WWE is wearing thin. In literally begging NWA-TNA to reel me in with a good product right now, but who knows if that can happen. The WWE has some severe problems when they think fans are into Randy Orton or John Heidenreich for that matter. Seriously, who in their right mind wants to see Heidenreich vs. the Undertaker sometime soon, in addition to anything of importance with a failing Randy Orton main event character? The sad fact is that the WWE can do better because both rosters have legit superstars and performers on them... but Vince, HHH, and Stephanie have their own priorities before the fans and that's when you know that it could be time to shut it down. [ C ] for this show, as it would have been worse without Christian vs. Shawn Michaels. Thank God for performers like Shawn Michaels.
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