Yeeeee-Hahhhh! Welcome to another edition of the Wrath of Tito. I am your unmotivated host, Mr. Tito! I have to admit it: I'm the least motivated about professional wrestling RIGHT NOW than I have ever been. The WWE, ever since the Invasion of 2001, has slowly withered away what was once a very dedicated wrestling fan. I used to buy the t-shirts, all of the videos, and be glued to the television set whenever a program came on. Now, I'm very picky on wrestling tapes while I sold off my entire VHS collection a while ago, I only own one shirt and barely wear it (Kurt Angle), and I now casually watch RAW and Smackdown, while missing several Pay Per Views this year.
This is so unlike me. The WWE has forced me to change my habits, for professional wrestling was my biggest hobby. Now, it's more of a job to watch instead of a hobby. Who in their right mind will buy Armageddon? Michaels vs. Batista? Orton vs. RVD? HHH vs. Goldberg vs. Kane? Booker T vs. Mark Henry? Those are hardly 4 matches you would demand to pay $30-$40 to see on Pay Per View. Hell, they aren't even exciting matches to see on RAW. Why bother? Then, you have instances in the WWE where they blow storylines too early. The first day of Matt Hardy's return, they made him dump Lita. Then, just last night, they pretty much ended the Jericho/Trish Stratus storyline when Trish overheard Jericho's true feelings about her. It's utter ignorance on the part of Vince McMahon and his laziness due to the Cable monopoly he has obtained is making this product hard to watch.
The WWE is NOT interesting right now. There are 2 things catching my interest these days, and they are both beyond the current product. First, it's the Ric Flair DVD, which is by far, the single BEST wrestling video ever produced. Secondly, it's Wrestlemania 20, which with the way things are going, it will probably be the last Wrestlemania I'll ever watch or care about. I'm out on a ledge here, for I'm a wrestling column writer who is really beginning to hate wrestling in general. The WWE sucks and NWA-TNA sucks even worse. I WANT to enjoy wrestling, but the industry refuses to provide a good product. Ratings, attendance, merchandise sales, and advertising dollars back that statement up.
-I did catch parts of Smackdown. Gotta love how many times the WWE has replicated the 1994 Royal Rumble finish, where Bret Hart and Lex Luger landed at the same time. The WWE has recycled this about 3 times since that match, making it sadly obvious that Vince McMahon's thoughts are very stale and that the second-rate soap opera writers backstage have no innovative ideas (or they keep quiet to become "yes men" for Stephanie McMahon). Benoit and John Cena landed at the same time, and they'll fight this week on Smackdown to determine who wrestles Brock Lesnar. I personally don't believe John Cena is quite ready yet for a major push, but Chris Benoit is more than ready. Can you imagine a Pay Per View match between Lesnar and Benoit? Jesus Christ, it would have "Match of the Year Candidate" written all over it! But that's not what Vince wants, for John Cena has the advantage because he can talk on the mic, despite his poor, at times, in-ring skills.
-I guess some RAW vs. Smackdown matches will be held at the Spike TV Video Game Awards. My assumption is that this is a test to possibly reunite the roster. While I completely disagree with reuniting the roster, for it gives opportunities for guys like Orton, Batista, Mysterio, Benjamin, Lesnar, Haas, Bashams, and others to shine, my guess is that the McMahons believe it could be a big ratings spike to put the roster back together. I bet they feel as though it's their last hope. Maybe it is, especially in the realm of houseshow revenues? I tend to disagree, for the Brand Extension provides choice, and if you, for instance, like the wrestlers on one roster, you can divide your time by half and only watch one show. Smackdown DOES get better ratings than RAW (again, RAW is rated on the Cable system, which has lower viewers than a network system. For instance, if RAW does a 3.6 on a Cable rating, it would be around a 2.7 or so on the networks. Therefore, a 3.6 network rating on Smackdown is much larger than a 3.6 cable rating. Please don't bother me with emails on this, for I'm correct on this topic!), which only proves my point. Then again, the WWE would want to have both shows doing equally well, in theory.
I give it until a little after Wrestlemania 20, when business begins to really sag towards the Summer months, when the McMahons pull the trigger on the Brand Extension for a brief spike in the ratings. You probably won't be hearing from me by then...
-I did catch most of MONDAY NIGHT RAW... It was a decent show overall. It was somewhat nice to see Mick Foley back, although he's done the current role of authority several times before. What says it won't get stale again? What was the point of the Dudleys vs. Cade/Jindrak match being so short? The match completely killed off that young tag team from any further elevation, please and thank you. Another short match was presented with Booker T vs. Test. Nobody mentioned that they were former tag team partners (a team I really liked, by the way). Booker T wins and Stacy did 2 Stacyroonies to show everyone her wite underwear, which nobody will complain about other than the WWE's blatant attempt at gaining attention/ratings. Mark Henry would then run in and attack Booker. Absolutely no heel heat for doing so, too. Great investment made into Mark Henry, WWE. Just cut the fat already and take a hit in the money. Having Henry around loses more money than the money lost on his contract.
The stuff with Test/Steiner and Mick Foley was a waste of time. I liked the tag match between Storm/Venis vs. La Resistance. Storm and the Frenchies worked really well in the ring, especially Storm with Conway. I'm beginning to see why people are so high on Conway's wrestling ability. I believe Storm and Venis won with the old Hart Foundation finisher? Rico/Jackie vs. Chris Jericho/Trish Stratus was one of the best mixed tag matches the WWE has had in a LONG time. Must be 3 of the workers in the match... and Jackie. It's good that Rico is getting a little more RAW television exposure for a change.
On a tangent... My room has two televisions rigged up to cable television, meaning I can watch both RAW and Monday Night Football at the same time. But this is not the point... Was anybody else mad at the Tennessee Titans for their defense collapsing against the New York Jets, in addition to their offensive line playing poorly in the second half? All I needed was a freakin' touchdown by Eddie George and I would have clinched a playoff berth in one of my fantasy leagues! Ugh, it's so frustrating!
Matt Hardy vs. Christian was a decent bout. That's all I can really say about that, haha. Coach vs. Lawler was yet another waste of time. Nobody wants to see non-wrestlers compete. The main event of Kane/Orton/Batista vs. Goldberg/HBK/RVD. The match only had highlights when Michaels was in the ring, carrying whomever on his back. Batista shouldn't be in the same ring as Michaels, let alone on the same Pay Per View match. Very evident here in this match. OVERALL, a decent show by the WWE, but the booking and workrate still needs heavy work. The show was absent of some sort of usual cancer... oh yeah, no Triple H this week. I'll give the show a [ B- ] (B minus). Improvements still need to be made to catch anyone's interest again.
This IS the best Wrestling DVD ever produced! It's a 3 disc collection and it is truly an Ultimate Collection! The DVDs show appreciation for Ric Flair in his prime, which was during the 1980's, and then providing his very best WWE moments. In between the matches, you get to see loads of interviews and build up matches (I was seriously appreciative to see Eddie Gilbert/Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair/Barry Windham). This video has current Ric Flair talking, as well, about each match in great detail, giving you thoughts on each match or each worker. Truly a fun experience.
Here are the matches:
-Ric Flair vs. Harley Race, the Starrcade 83 Cage Match
-Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes, Starrcade 85
-Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham, the 1 hour Worldwide match from 1987
-Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat, Clash of the Champions 2 out of 3 Falls
-Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat, Wrestlewar 89
-Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk, Clash of the Champions "I Quit" match
-Royal Rumble 92
-Ric Flair vs. Sting, Clash of the Champions Title vs. Title match
-Ric Flair vs. Triple H + Celebration afterward from Greenville, SC
My thoughts on the match choices? I loved every choice! Disc 1 is more old school, with an hour long technical war between Flair and Windham. The Flair vs. Race match was a classic, and the Dusty Rhodes vs. Flair match was probably the best one of theirs out of the bunch. Disc 2 is by far, my favorite. It has 3 of the best matches from 1989 on it, with the 2 best Steamboat vs. Flair matches AND the classic "I quit" match with Funk. The 3rd disc is great, too, for it has the great Royal Rumble match that Flair won. Flair put on a superhuman effort in that match. Then, it was Sting vs. Flair to unite the WCW titles, which is arguably the best all around Flair vs. Sting matches around. Finally, it was HHH's best match of 2003 in his bout with Ric Flair and celebration afterward. I have NO complaints about the matches!
LAST WORD: BUY THIS DVD!!!!! EVERY wrestling fan should own this, for it's the best tribute out there for one of wrestling's greats. Kudos to Ted Turner, too, for keeping old footage in incredible shape. Highly recommended out of ALL of my multimedia reviews, EVER.
Willygoat Valley Wrestling (WVW) - The Best Backyard fed around today!
@That's all for today. Thanks a million for reading.