Another fun edition of the Wrath of Tito is upon us, so run for the hills! I've got ONE MORE FINAL to end this miseral fall quarter, and then I'll be off until early January. Sure, I'll get killed with work over the holidays, but it has far less pressure than preparing for an exam in school. Plus, more time to goof around! I've got several books that I want to read and several personal projects to take care of. Several readers have asked if I'd bring back the Phat Daily Column for the holiday season. While it's tempting, I know that I'll get burnt out on it because let's face it, there's hardly any earth shattering topics to discuss anymore. I grow tired of arguing which roster is better or who is screwing who backstage.
Besides, I'm quite fond of the name "Wrath of Tito". Using the word "Phat" was just getting out of date to me, and the jump to the new column title was somewhat of a breath of fresh air to me. Plus, it's named after my favorite movie of all time...
Oh, speaking of movies. I have given in. After years of avoiding it, I now have a DVD player. For one, it was given to me as a gift, but anyway, the technology is cheaper here in 2002, making it much more sensible on the wallet. I've actually been into DVDs for a short while now, though, as I do have a DVD player in the new computer I bought last year. I bought a few DVDs, such as Star Wars Episodes 1 and 2, Star Trek Special Editions 2 and 3, and even Super Troopers. I really like the added extras that the DVD's have, especially the ones that are totally loaded like both Star Wars releases and Star Trek 2. I don't care as much for video quality as I do the wonderful extras.
But don't look for me to go all out on DVD's, though. I'll just by my favorite movies that are loaded with extra features, while not trying to re-supply what I have on VHS. None of the wrestling DVDs really get me excited, and given my expeiences with the last few WWE VHS videos, I don't like what the WWE puts out these days. I find it amazing that a company with so much footage in the archives completely holds it back to make some great videos. Oh well, just a few million dollars that could be made. Nothing more.
And speaking of videos... Does anybody have the Best of Backyard Wrestling Volume 5 DVD or VHS yet? I checked through my local Suncoast video and found out that they came out on October 18th of this year. However, several book and video websites insist that the release dates of the video were either November 19th or December 4th? I placed an order for Volume 5 through Suncoast, but this was almost 3 weeks ago. Does anybody have it? Does anybody know the official date upon its release? Why isn't Volume 6 getting released concurrently with Volume 5, like what happened with Volumes 3 and 4? I've seen that 2nd Backyard Babe video is out already, which was supposed to be released concurrently with Volume 5. I need answers...
I read a pretty good interview with Perry Saturn on 1wrestling.com earlier. Saturn, who usually holds nothing back when it comes to honesty, seems to be holding back some possible angry feelings towards the WWE. For instance, he said that some material given to him was like "pulling teeth", while backtracking and saying that at least the writers would try to pay attention to him and his character to get over. He would also insist that Kevin Sullivan's elevation as head booker of WCW in early 2000 was not the reason for leaving WCW, but that it was the greatness of the WWE. While I'm sure that's partially right, the Radicalz left the WWE especially because Benoit did not want to get screwed over by the man who lost his wife to Benoit. Perry Saturn also said that he never witnessed any political maneuvering by Triple H. Ah yes, buttering up the Game. Well, duh, he never saw it happen. Nobody does, except when they see Triple H walking out of the creative meeting, seeing the spotlight on Triple H for a whole RAW, and then having Triple H, a heel, dominate anybody he wrestles. Saturn did admit that Lesnar should not have lost the World Title to the Big Show...
Saturn, by the way, also admitted that his next step was to be on the WWA European tour, which is a pretty good move for him outside of the WWE. I fully expect him to eventually join the NWA-TNA federation, where all of the ex-WWE wrestlers go.
Little Guido looks to be playing the part of Jamie Noble's cousin. Oh lord. At least Guido is getting on WWE television, although it's another example of Vince's sick fetish of introducing family members on wrestling shows. It looks like, though, that Guido and Noble will be more used for comedy purposes and not for their wrestling abilities.
Am I surprised that Diamond Dallas Page was released by the WWE? Nope. He's a guy who won't be able to return to the WWE under his current contract after his neck injury gets repaired, and then again, DDP isn't getting any younger at his age. Funny how quickly the WWE ditched him after his Tough Enough 3 appearance. I wish DDP luck for anything he does. I only wish that the WWE gave a crap about him when he first came in, as he was a former 3 time WCW Champion and one of the most over personalities in WCW, especially during 1997, WCW's most successful year. The WWE had a great opportunity to build dream matches, but instead, the Undertaker didn't like working with him and had DDP embarrassed through a few squashes and even having Sara pinning DDP.
But again, Vince didn't create DDP's popularity, nor did he do that for Booker T or any of the other WCW stars that have come to the WWE. Heaven forbid Vince push anybody outside of his own creative mind.
On to the Wrath.
Opening match was the Dudley Boyz vs. Christian/Jericho for the World Tag Titles. Already? I'd much rather prefer that the WWE build up both teams to have them wrestle a big payoff match at a Pay Per View. A few nitpicks for Jericho/Christian: Christian needs new tights. This team needs more mic time to give themselves heat. Jericho/Christian need more wins over face teams to build them as champions. Devastating chops by Bubba! That slap chop is so damn nasty. I give the WWE lots of credit for finally recognizing that both Bubba and D'Von are great tag wrestlers, but not singles wrestlers. Jericho/Christian got the win off of a controversial pin. However, Eric Bischoff and Sean Morley or however that is spelled comes out. Formerly known as Val Venis, now using his real name, he's become the "Chief of Staff" for Eric Bischoff. He rules to restart the match because of the pin. Oh, how lame. Place your bets, now, to how long it will take for Morley to go back to his old Val Venis character. Match was restarted and the Dudley Boyz won the titles. Sean Morley comes back out and announces that Bubba Ray Dudley was NOT the legal man. A long tag match here... Jericho and Edge would finally get the win after the Walls of Jericho. Pretty good opener here, as I'm amazed at how much time it was given. Dudleys, again, should have been built up more to fight this match.
Did you hear that pop the RAW Retro got with the Stone Cold/Vince McMahon segment?
Professional wrestling seems to have its share of Born Again Christians, and in the case of the WWE, it's Shawn Michaels. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
RAW has new tag team title belts. Man, the end of an era is upon us. The oldschool WWF title belts now have a grave. Long backstage segment here, as D'Von is pissed off about losing. But Bubba has a plan.
Oh man, couldn't that foreign tour last any longer for Test? I think that the Testicles gimmick actually makes Stacy Kiebler more over than it does Test. He would take on Steven Richards, who seems to have the shortest stints on RAW before disappearing for months until his next return. I can hear someone in the top level of Section C shouting something. Oh wait, Section B, as Section C in this arena is either blocked off or blackened out. Man, those Testicles sure come out to buy tickets to see Test wrestle and get pushed every week! New haircut, new gimmick, and attempts to get a crowd following will still give you the same old Test in that ring, week in and week out. NASTY Roll of the Dice or Last Rites(sp?) by Test to finish Richards off. Will Test finally decide on a finisher?
Gotta love the WWE's attempts at comedy. Jericho/Christian are trapped outside without their clothes, thanks to the Dudleys.
Well, Maven vs. Chris Nowinski won't be a Pay Per View match. Of course, let's not let novices embarrass the company on an event which fans paid for. Amazing that we are seeing these two on WWE television, anyway. It seems like only yesterday that they were on Tough Enough one. Maven is much bigger in size than back then and Nowinski has longer hair. Oh wait! Nowinski knocked Maven out with a freakin' textbook to end the match. I guess we'll see this on Pay Per View after all. Seriously, how can a textbook knock someone out?
"You'll get a free bowl of soup with this outfit". Jericho whipping out a Caddyshack quote when looking through Rico's stuff for something to wear. Gotta love that.
Victoria vs. Trish Stratus part 736744848874747. It's sucked so bad each time, the WWE insists on keep trying to finally get an exciting match out of the two. Well, not this time, and not ever. Women's wrestling does NOT work here in 2002. Trish Stratus is no star like Sable for anybody to hate Victoria. Sure, Sable was a shitty women's wrestler, but the fans went bonkers over her and her feuds. It's a shame, because I believe these ladies do work hard and put lots of effort in what they do, but it's just not the right time or environment to push women's wrestling. Nice finisher by Victoria, though. Clean win to hopefully end this feud. Did Richards end his relationship with Jazz to start his one with Victoria?
Shawn Michaels does sound very sincere in his segments when talking about other wrestlers. That's not like 1996-1998.
Tough Enough 3 preview puts over a certain "rib" that Jonah pulls on the contestants. SMELL THE RATINGS!
More comedy with the Dudleys and Jericho/Christian. Ass Cream? The blowoff is that the Dudleys stripped the towels off of Jericho and Christian. Oh man, might as well let them feud over hand lotion.
Jeff Hardy/Hurricane vs. Lance Storm/William Regal was next. Has Jeff Hardy totally lost any muscle tone that he has ever had? Sure, he's always been small, but not he's looking like crap. Again, I'm sure if they made something out of his fluke win against Triple H in 2001, he wouldn't look like what he does today. Boring tag match here. Neither team meshes well. Ah, I see what the Shining Wizard move is. No need to e-mail me about the description, as it's extremely hard to explain. Storm won with a Sharpshooter? The beatdown after the match on Jeff Hardy looked pretty rough. Looks like someone is getting punished for blown spots at Survivor Series?
I do like how the WWE is using Ric Flair to usher in Batista on RAW. Batista and Kane went at it, and it was some back and forth power fighting. Badly missed clothesline there between Kane and Batista. Flair helped Batista win. Damn, that sitdown powerbomb is nice.
D'Von, Ivory, Maven, and Val Venis for the Big Show... Val Venis and Bischoff talked about getting Scott Steiner on RAW when they were interrupted by RNN or Randy Orton trying to play a cocky heel. Yawn.
Rico vs. Goldust... Goldust was insanely over with Booker T, but now, he's just another midcarder. Jim Ross was wrong on his facts. Rico was the SECOND winner of the American Gladiator show. I was a loyal viewer of that show, so believe me, I know. The first season had Joe Theisman as an announcer, while the second one had Larry Zonka and better obstacle courses. In fact, I don't believe Rico won the whole thing. I know he was a finalist, and he was against the guy who had the record in the Wall Climb competition. Rico lost to Goldust in an extremely meaningless match.
Shawn Michaels vs. Rob Van Dam... A dream match of sorts. It's rare to see HBK wrestle on free television. Very nice dragonscrew legwhip by HBK! Shawn Michaels, you can tell, was really into training his wrestlers in Texas, because he doesn't look to have lost that much of a beat. He's in pretty good shape, too. Just 4 years older and with a back injury that makes him more careful (although I'd argue he takes more dangerous bumps than ever). Several people ask why HBK's comeback isn't a bigger thing than it should. Well, Michaels was champion during the WWF's dark years. He wasn't there during the Attitude era, although he contributed greatly to the early times of it. Leave it to the WWE to do the NWO-Run in finish with Triple H running in and ending the bout. Someone froggy splash Triple H on his throat again! Will anybody pay, for a third time, to see HBK vs. Triple H? Especially when the odds are against Michaels for winning? Good match while it lasted.
LAST WORD: This show had some good moments, but it also seemed to be going through the motions at some points. Rico vs. Goldust? Come on! The attempts at comedy fell short, women's wrestling is bad, Test vs. Richards lacked heat, and Jeff Hardy is a waste. I don't have that much of a hard on to see HBK vs. Triple H, part 3, either. I'll give this show a [ C+ ] (C Plus). This RAW roster is so weak compared to the Smackdown roster, and that's with guys like Mark Henry, Big Show, and Rikishi stinking up the shows.
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