Welcome to the one and only Wrath of Tito. I hope you enjoyed the double duty of the Wrath of last week, although I can't guarantee I'll be doing that all of the time due to, of course, the demand of keeping up on school work. I usually go home on Thursday nights, but this week, I had to stick around to attend some graduate seminar on Friday, hence my being bored enough to write a column that evening. Hey, it was fun and I could show you that Smackdown is a great show, while RAW just lacks an element lately.
Even Jim Ross agrees. As much as a shill of the WWE as he can be (he gets paid to praise the WWE, though), he can be ruthless on certain aspects, such as shows he doesn't like, angles, or wrestlers' weight problems. Despite being hypcritical at times, Ross has his share of honesty in his weekly columns, and I can appreciate that every week. Ross said the following about RAW:
"RAW is still a work in progress and everyone involved in the process is working diligently to make it better. The talent are especially working hard, and that's where it all starts, in my opinion. We are still searching for the correct balance between steak and sizzle, and with everyone's continued efforts, we will find it."
After saying this, Ross would go on to praise Smackdown. My hope and goal for the WWE on this matter is that they don't bother screwing with the Smackdown roster to improve RAW, but to just make certain changes. Scott Steiner would be a good SHORT RUN move, but maybe adding say John Cena to RAW could work, while reuniting the original Dudley Boyz, D'Von and Bubba Ray would be great for the tag division. Yeah, that's 2 Smackdown talents, but both Cena and D'Von struggle to get on Smackdown every week now (and D'Von has beat Cena in a match!).
I just hope the WWE does something to improve the Main Event scene on RAW, which is where the real money is to be made. Just ditch the shock value angles, like necrophilia, and give us angles that make sense. Chris Jericho, on No Holds Barred Radio (noholdsbarredwrestling.com) said it best about the Smackdown roster. Jericho said Smackdown is the better show because they have a better foundation of wrestlers there, such as Benoit, Angle, Edge, and Guerrero, and then some. RAW has Triple H at the top and everybody feuding with him at some point and time. Smackdown has Brock Lesnar in his own separate feud, while the rest of the roster feuds with each other and puts up some great matches every week. You be the judge.
By the way, ASIDE FROM THE RAW REVIEW, I promise that I won't rip into Triple H or the Big Show in this long introduction. I probably rip on Triple H more than I should for any so-called "backstage power", while calling the Big Show an out of shape wrestler who keeps blowing chance after chance of gaining his spot in the main event picture. I somewhat praised the WWE for attempting to give the Big Show a new look in the Friday column, so I wasn't all negative to the Big Show. With the Big Show, I have visions of his much smaller figure from 1995-1997, where he was much more mobile and actually looking like threatening during his matches. But no Triple H bashing (aside from my RAW review!!!!!) and Big Show bashing allowed in the rest of this intro!
I caught Tough Enough 3 over the weekend. I really like this season thus far, especially the in-ring work. The trainers are really setting up the show nicely, making this year's contestants EARN it every step of the way. I don't particularly like Jonah's attitude in the show, thus far. Firstly, I thought it was hilarious that he had to make fun of Bill DeMott when losing his first bet to Matt. He looked sooooooo scared doing that! HAHA! Then, Jonah and John bet Scott that he couldn't get any numbers from any ladies at the club they went to. That's a stupid bet, as Scott could either pay someone or get the number from someone who may be unattractive. Dumbasses. But anyway, after Jonah/John lost the bet, Jonah kept threatening bad things to Scott, saying that he'd do stuff to Scott in his sleep, etc. That's mighty prick of Jonah, who should have just shut up and accepted the bet the way it was. Duh, the WWE watches the tapes of the home to determine how a person would act, say in a locker room. He did the bet, but if Jonah would have just accepted the bet and shut up about it, he would have gained respect for following through with the bet.
The stuff with Lisa was bizarre. I believe she's the one who tried to stalk the WWE after losing? Some people just aren't mentally there, and in doing intense wrestling training, something within Lisa just snapped. She just couldn't get things going in the ring, and after several problems with her housemates, she quit the competition. The seriousness of Big's voice about the quitting only shows that something was seriously wrong with Lisa, as he didn't act that way when Jill decided to quit. I mean hell, Lisa did eventually try to get into WWE's backstage area and the OVW training facility weeks after quitting the show. Wow... 2 ladies have quit, meaning that 3 females will do battle. Of the females, Jamie seems to be the strongest of the 3, although I'd have to see more in-ring work to determine anything.
I don't like the Justin contestant. He seems to be one of those individuals who will complain about anybody behind their back, as he did after Lisa wouldn't go "clubbing" with the rest of the housing. I have a feeling that if a Tough Enough trainer gets mad at him, he'd be the first to call the WWE offices and complain about how the trainers are conspiring against him.
As annoying as Scott seems, he's at least putting forth an effort to win the competition. Sure, he's a little looney, but you gotta admire him taking a stance at the bullying by Jonah and how he didn't let his early problems in the ring get to him. Scott, though, ripped a ligament in his hand playing volleyball, which needed a cast on it, so we'll just have to see if he quits or not. I don't know if he can train with the cast on or not?
At this point, my money is on Chad and Matt to win it. Matt seems to remind me of a Hardy Boy, for some reason, but he seems to be catching on quickly. Chad has the size advantage over anybody, and as long as he keeps his head on straight and progresses nicely, he'll win it. He's 6'9 and already in good physical condition. He seems like one of the more nicer guys of the bunch and one of the better interviews, too.
I wouldn't worry too much about the lower ratings of Smackdown and Tough Enough 3. Both were on Halloween, meaning that the core age group of the WWE, the teen male audience, was likely to be out and about, causing trouble or going out that evening for some kind of party. The WWE kinda stacked Smackdown with some Pay Per View quality matches, though, but I believe that Smackdown will bounce back this week. Tough Enough 3, though, will be ok in the long run. The show always starts off slow until picking up during the middle of the season once Mtv finds something juicy of the show to advertise.
Scott Steiner is on Confidential this week... Could that mean he'll debut tonight or on Smackdown? That's somewhat of a tell-tale sign that it could happen.
I wouldn't look much into the situation with Brian Solomon, the individual who has been writing several negative columns against the WWE on WWE.com. Solomon is under WWE CONTRACT, meaning that if his employer wants him to write something, he'll write it. After producing several of his columns, it's clear that the WWE is OK with what he's doing. That means the WWE is "working the net" once again by having one of their own cater to several beliefs that the net has about certain wrestlers or the storylines. Don't waste your time reading his worked material, for he's another WWE puppet.
Anthology comes out soon from the WWE, but don't count on a Multimedia review from yours truly concerning the CD. I'm very strapped for cash at the moment, paying for college, food to live on, and a few other expenses to afford a double disc CD, at least for the moment. As a big mark for wrestling themes, I'll get around to buying it, but not at the moment. After Thanksgiving, I'll have a break until New Years, meaning that I'll be able to work extra hours again to make a decent income to get my themes fix again. But until then, no review just yet (although I know a few places that offer mp3s of the CD, hmmm...).
In regards to the Backyard BBQ. Just looking around the net, week after week, and from the e-mails I received from websites wanting to be a part of it, I've concluded that interest in backyard wrestling is way down than it was even a year ago. Seeing how the WWE's fanbase is nearly cut in half now, it shows that interest in American wrestling has greatly dwindled, meaning that fans wanting to wrestle each other has probably dwindled as well. With that being said, I don't think a re-launching of the Backyard BBQ would be worth anything today. Therefore, it's my decision to cancel that project. My apologies to anybody who wanted to be a part of that site, and I will state that I'll still support backyard wrestling no matter what.
I'll always support the VWF and the WXW no matter what, but to provide a big internet index of backyard wrestling sites seems worthless right now. Many feds have died out since I first launched the BBQ a few years ago, with many about to disappear with their wrestlers going off to college or getting bored with it. My recommendation for any feds to survive is to do what my fellow WXW and VWF wrestlers did and that is to merge together, thereby making a cohesive unit of wrestlers who still want to keep the spirit of backyard wrestling alive!
See, I told you I could resist ripping the Big Show and Triple H in the intro. No problem, whatsoever, for me. On to my RAW review, which I may tear apart Triple H there.
3 Minute Warning vs. Jeff Hardy/Bubba Ray Dudley was up first. Rico just doesn't fit well as a manager for these 2 guys, two Samoan gangsters. Jeff Hardy amazes me every week on how stupid he can look. Ross and the King just can't help but talk about Triple H and HBK throughout the match. Boston crowd is pretty hot tonight, getting all over Rico off the get, along with the usual "tables" chants. Looks like Jeff Hardy forgot to bring his wrestling gear, given the khaki shorts he's wearing. Too bad the WWE jobbed him off so many times for him to even care anymore. Rosie and Jamal win with the special Samoan drop. Not particularly good tag bout here. Hardy and Bubba seemed to be going through the motions, while Rosie and Jamal aren't showing how "great" they were from HWA.
Ivory is on RAW now, and looking better than ever. Strange speech by Victoria about taking Trish's soul, but at least it's SOMETHING for her character.
Trish vs. Ivory was next. God, I HATE Trish's theme song! I can't say that enough! Dry match here between Ivory and Trish, as the hot Boston crowd can't find a reason to cheer for these gals. Trish won, and I help but wonder how long the WWE will keep pushing the Women's division to be successful. Imagine if the Cruiserweight division received the attention that the Women's division was getting. Afterwards, Victoria and Trish were brawling, reminding us that they'll put on another boring match at Survivor Series.
F-View shows Victoria beating up the 50 year old hag known as Terri.
Somebody spam the shit out of email@example.com.
Meanwhile, Bischoff fires a backstage guy for placing a camera in his room. Made sense... Triple H and Ric Flair are backstage, and Triple H is angry about what Bischoff was doing to him lately. "I'm the Franchise around here", says Triple H. Triple H brings up the point that someone is influencing Bischoff's decision, and then shows a tape of Bischoff kissing Stephanie. Could this be Wrestler versus Boss, version 3984745747? It looks it!
Lance Storm/William Regal vs. Tommy Dreamer/Al Snow was up next. I like both Regal and Storm as wrestlers, but man, they are so BORING as a tag team. Storm tries to talk, but a Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner promo hits, interrupting Storm's speech. Ok.... This is the "WWE Tickets On Sale" match, where the WWE scrolls the availability of tickets in certain cities. Just tell the viewers at home that it's the match you care less about tonight, WWE. Again, Ross and the King can't stop talking about HBK or Triple H. Regal won with a hard kick to the face on Tommy Dreamer, making me wonder if that's the "Shining Wizard" by Mutoh or not? I don't know my Japanese wrestling, but descriptions of the move seem to resemble that.
Test very much resembled Kevin Nash in that backstage segment. Oh my! The WWE is playing the net by having Test's hair cut on live TV! So lame!
Interesting ring music for Dave Batista. He will be taking on FORMER ECW CHAMPION, Justin Credible. Amazing how well Credible has been doing in the WWE. Credible does look like a jobber, like one out of the 1980's hell. Devastating powerbomb to finish. I believe the announcers said that Batista was part of the Big Show deal or something? Just slowly build the monster up, and good things will happen.
Triple H comes out for yet another LAME PROMO!!! He's easily the most boring interview in the WWE today. Listen to that Boston crowd roar... oh, they aren't? The most over face on RAW comes out, Booker T. Thank God. I remember in 2000, many talked about Triple H vs. Booker T as a dream match. "Right now, you can't even hold my jock" says Triple H to Booker T. Nice of Triple H to play his "cool heel" role to make sure the cheers are kept lower than they should. Booker T brought back his "Don't hate the player, hate the Game" phrase. Chris Jericho comes out to prove that he's the superior talker of them all! After some jawing, Triple H and Jericho attack Booker T, and Kane runs in for the save. Decent stuff to set up the Main Event match.
Hurricane comes out... What exactly is his role lately? Test, now somewhat looking like Sean O'Haire with the haircut, comes out. NOW CHANGE THAT DAMN ENTRANCE MUSIC! Gotta love the heatless matches. Test has had so many opportunities at a push that the fans just don't care at this point. Same goes for the Hurricane, who has been jobbed and humiliated by larger wrestlers ever since the Invasions. Test finisher 7374646363263 was used to finish off Hurricane (the roll the dice finisher). Test actually looks shorter and thinner with the haircut.
Jericho video is shown. It's a shame that Jericho left Smackdown, because imagine the stuff he could do with Angle, Benoit, and the Guerreros right now. Oh well, he's got Triple H to job to here on RAW. Yay for him.
Funny backstage segment with Chris Jericho and Christian. F-View has Jericho running into Triple H/Ric Flair. Jericho rips on Shawn Michaels, calling him the "Has Been Kid". Jericho ribs Triple H about the Bischoff/Stephanie kiss, and all 3 walk off with Shawn Michaels lurking in the background.
I'm wondering how anyone could bear a RAW houseshow?
Rob Van Dam vs. Christian was the next bout. Crowd is heavily behind RVD here. Some good back and forth offense here. I'm sort of burned out by both wrestlers, given the squashed push of RVD after his feud with Triple H and Christian being placed in bad storylines, like the freakin' Unamericans. Some nice kicks, here and there, by RVD. 5-Star splash wins the match. I find it funny how the announcers hype that RVD could win the Elimination Chamber match, but we all know better.
Mario Party 4 for the Game Cube looks quite entertaining, seeing the commercials on RAW tonight.
Christopher Nowinski comes out for whatever reason. Cheap pop! Cheap pop! Nowinski rips on Boston, given that he went to Harvard. The WWE isn't very good at delivering cheap pop promos anymore. He takes a shot at Ted Williams, Larry Bird, and Nomar Garciapara for the cheap pop. Al Snow comes out, mic in hand. Snow distracts Nowinski enough to let Maven make a big return and attack Nowinski. Wow... I guess Maven is also part of that Big Show trade? Possibly.
Backstage, Kane and Goldust have a confrontation, and it's broken up by Booker T. "Who in the hell has sex with a dead body?" says Booker T, and Goldust raises his hand. I about spit out my Ginger Ale when he did that.
Triple H/Chris Jericho versus Booker T/Kane was our main event. This could be a good match... Good back and forth stuff between the teams, with the crowd behind it. It shows that the WWE has their top heels and top faces in this match, so act like it. PUSH BOOKER T as a singles wrestler. Instead, the focus is on Triple H ruling the world, while a retired wrestler is his main threat (HBK). Good ending with HBK superkicking Triple H as the Pedigree was almost applied. Michaels looks to be in good shape right now, showing the seriousness of him wanting to wrestle. I don't like Shawn Michaels cutting face promos, as I prefer his heel ones instead. Michaels accepts the invitation to the Elimination Chamber, and I'm free for the rest of the evening.
LAST WORD: This show was a lot better than any RAWs of late, but it still lacked some energy in some needed areas. Several matches lacked any energy or crowd heat, while others didn't work out. Backstage segments were strong this show and the main event was solid. I'll give this show a grade of a [ B ], which is a somewhat generous grade. RAW is on the right track by bringing in some fresh faces, but for the Elimination Chamber, the WWE must actually keep pushing Booker T, Kane, RVD, and Jericho as legit main event wrestlers instead of making them pawns in the HBK vs. Triple H feud.
Check out Willygoat Xtreme Wrestling and the Valley Wrestling Federation. Two great backyard feds.
WRESTLEPALOOZA.com - Audio Show, Columns, News, and more!
KOLTERSHOCK!!! - A site that you shouldn't view with small children present!
X-Entertainment.com - One of the most entertaining pages on the net!
@See you next Tuesday!
Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.