Welcome to another edition of the Wrath of Tito. Yet another wrestler has left us in Curt Hennig. I mostly remember Curt Hennig from his debut in the WWF as Mr. Perfect until his departure from the WWE after the WWE came back from a European trip last year in 2002. I thought he played the Mr. Perfect character well, although injuries seem to keep him out of the main event scene in a full time basis. I remember his great match with Bret Hart at Summerslam 1991, probably his best match ever. I liked him as a manager for Ric Flair in 1992, and glad to see him be the man who got the Flair rub when Flair was about to leave the WWF in 1992. Too bad an injury put Hennig out of wrestling after that.
I was happy to see Hennig back as a commentator in the WWF in the mid 1990's. I always remember his mention of how somebody "just re-arranged his nipple" on a hard chop or something of that nature. Then, I vividly remember Hennig stealing Triple H's women, only for the storyline pay-off to be a great heel turn by perfect on Marc Mero with a brutal chairshot to give Triple H his first Intercontinental title win. Then, I was excited that he was going to WCW to wrestle again. He was promised to a main event push and even the World title in his WCW contract, but never got it. WCW, like many other WWF jumpers, wasted Hennig and his career was doomed at that point. Then, he was one of the few positive things in XWF, and then returned to the WWE in 2001 via the Royal Rumble.
Fans were excited to see Perfect back. By simply calling him Mr. Perfect, it washed away all of the problems he had in WCW. It was great to see him back. But slowly but surely, the novelty wore off and his matches weren't up to the level of 2001 standards, or he just couldn't work with the more athletic or younger wrestlers. He dwindled down and was fired from the WWE after excessive partying on the European tour. I don't know where he's been ever since, but to die at the age of 44 is suspicious, especially of natural causes, which I hope that no bad news regarding his death (suicide or drugs) comes out.
It's a shame. Too many wrestlers are dying before they are 50 years old. Rick Rude, Yokozuna, Brian Pillman, Davey Boy Smith, Bobby Duncum Jr., Renegade, Louie Spicolli, and others are having health problems or overall stresses with the business to leave this world too early. Owen Hart, on the other hand, is not included because a freak accident took his life. Something has to be done. Many of those wrestlers appear to put extreme stress on their bodies to keep competing nightly. They just want to entertain, too, and be at a level to be in front of a crowd of thousands. But at what cost? Their lives.
With that being said, something in the way of cleaning the locker room out of drugs or muscle enhancers must be done, and the promoters should have some burden for being extremely tough on their wrestlers for their looks and ridiculous road schedules. Something badly needs to be done.
Rest in peace Curt Hennig.
Not much out there in the way of wrestling discussion. Kind of a dead news week occurred last week. I did catch Smackdown. I thought the Cruiserweight match between Jamie Noble and Rey Mysterio was too short. I'm sure they'd tear it up if you gave them like 15 minutes at a Pay Per View. But wait, we can't outshine that Triple H vs. Scott Steiner match, oh no we can't! What was the point of Rikishi squashing Nunzio? It's always nice to see Brother Love showing up every once and a while. Now you watch, though, the Undertaker tombstone on Love will be responsible for the next child murder since it returned Thursday.
It's total bullshit to put Matt Hardy into the Cruiserweight division. It's just an excuse for the bookers to not push him in the Heavyweight division because of their dislike of Hardy or refusal to accept that Matt would make a great heel with his Mattitude. The bookers don't care about the Cruiserweight division, so it's a place they can stick him so that he can showcase his talents on Velocity from now on. Hardy deserves better and still cares about performing nightly, unlike his poor brother, Jeff. The Guerreros vs. Team Angle was FANTASTIC! I sort of get a joy out of seeing Team Angle coming down to the ring to the Kurt Angle music. Great to see them as champions this early, and keep those belts on those 2 for a while. It's perfect to build up both guys like that.
You know you're sinking low for ratings when you rip off a commercial, as Smackdown did with the streaking Nike Shox commercial. What is the point of Albert-Train squashing Cruiserweights, anyway? I saw Albert squash Moore at a Velocity taping in November, and it made no sense to me back then. As much as I like to see the great ring chemistry between Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, how much to the Smackdown writers have to go to the well with these two wrestling all of the time? It's amazing how nothing in the way of a face push has been made for Benoit ever since his standing ovation at the Royal Rumble, just like Chris Jericho getting thrown into a stupid feud with Test on RAW after a great Rumble performance, too.
This show got a [ B- ] (B minus) overall in my gradebook. 2 good wrestling matches, while the rest was shortchanged or embarrassing.
If you get a chance, go to Snackbar-Games.com and check out my video game review of the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 3. It's in the "Recent Features" section on the left side of the main page. It's my new addiction, ever since a good friend of mine introduced me to Vice City. I don't have a Playstation 2, but I have a computer, so I bought it. Damn it's a good game. If I had kids, I certainly wouldn't let them play it, and I wish every other parent had that same mentality to fend off these censor groups regarding the GTA games.
Also, check out LoPForums.com, Lordsofpain.net's message boards. You can discuss wrestling there, but not only that, you can discuss anything and everything else in our other forums. I talk enough wrestling online as it is, so I like to vent my opinions on music, video games, sports, and even politics there. It's fun, and there are some great posters there to debate with daily, and depending on which forum you're in, you hardly won't get flamed with your opinions on a matter, even if there are some big disagreements on some matters *cough*Metallica*cough*War on Iraq*cough*.
On to the RAW review, brother.
Eric Bischoff starts off RAW with his own promo. Bischoff seems stressed tonight, as if he could get fired. Honestly, can Shane McMahon do a better job as RAW GM than Bischoff? Doubt it, as we've seen Shane in charge of a show or group of wrestlers before. The WWE writers for RAW should get 30 days or else to improve RAW or else instead of Bischoff. Easy E confronts Jim Ross, blaming him for not having Steve Austin on the shows. Ross shoots on Bischoff, mentioning who fired Austin in WCW. Bischoff threatens "fire" to Ross if he doesn't deliver Steve Austin. Ross walks away as a black limo pulls into the Staples center.
I'm growing tired of anti- drug and cigarette commercials. Why don't those groups spend more money enforcing that a HEALTH CLASS in grammar school teach how bad each are instead of producing ridiculous commercials. The one with the teen pregnancy still has me shaking my head to this day.
The Evolution 4 just happened to be in that black limo. D'oh!
And now we get the CHEAP POPS FOR STACY wrestling Test against Christian. This match could have been a "Cut Your Hair" match a few months ago. Har har. Stacy is looking GREAT tonight. Total dead crowd here. NOBODY in their right mind wants to cheer for Test. Seriously. Coach joins Lawler for commentary. Lawler: "wait a minute, this is RAW, not Heat. What are you doing out here?". This show isn't starting off well. They better have Jericho getting the clean win this Sunday. But they won't, because the law of the WWE glass ceiling states that nobody looks great other than Triple H, Undertaker, Austin, or the Rock. Boring match, Test is NOT over as a face to even merit him being on a Pay Per View card. Christian goes to attack Stacy, but Jeff Hardy makes the save. So he's still a face? I don't get it? And he's saving the life of a female, too? No get, no get.
Backstage, Ross is trying to get a hold of Austin.
After long clips of the Goldust stuff from last night, Booker T came out and got on the mic about Goldust, but D'Lo and Peanuthead came down and confronted him about racial issues. WCW was very racist to Booker T, finally giving him a main event push and the title in the wake of the discrimination suit filed against Time Warner. Booker T won the match, which was very quick. So much for D'Lo slowly getting a push, I guess. I hope this is the beginning of the Booker T singles push to the top.
SMELL THE RATINGS, it's a women's match~! Jazz vs. Molly Holly. Great way to get that crowd going, guys. The WWE certainly needs to market these women better to get this crowd caring about them. I'm sooooooooo excited here. Who should the fans cheer for here in this women's heel vs. heel match? I'm sure the fans want to cheer for Molly, who looks like she's pregnant with her outfit. Jazz wins via a STF like submission hold. With the Coach commentating now, this seems like Sunday Night Heat.
JR backstage, again, and "Steve" is on the phone. Ooops, it wasn't Austin. Smell the drama!
The man of ZERO intensity, Rob Van Dam, along with Kane took on 3 Minute Warning next. Wow, the WWE really cares to push Kane and RVD. Oh wait, they don't, as they are a team with no hope of winning the tag titles. And if they do, who cares? It's just like Booker T and Goldust. Yay, Kane and RVD won.
Vince McMahon arrives, as his return has already worn out its welcome. See, I told you Vince = SHORT TERM ratings. Vince to the ring and he calls out Chief Morley and Eric Bischoff. Morley is NOT fired, although his fate is decided in a match up next against the 3 Dudley Boyz. Sports Entertainment, brother. Vince is now speaking to Eric, asking if he signed Steve Austin yet. Bischoff didn't sign him, and Vince looks to have a major hard-on for making fun of Bischoff. Bischoff said he'd do anything to keep his job. Oh no, I fear the "Kiss My Ass Club" coming back. Bischoff promises action, and not only action, HOT-HOT-HOT LESBIAN-LESBIAN ACTION. Wow, the Lesbians look MUCH better than the women that came in from UPW or whatever. Check that, these aren't lesbians, but bi-sexuals. BSLA? Vince scares them off. Vince has had plenty of tail in his life by the many times he's cheated on his wife. Bischoff should do his homework! And now the trademark stuff... Eric Bischoff: YOU'RE FIRED!!!!!!! This is Vince's personal dream to fire Bischoff, and thus burying the man who actually gave the WWF competition in 1996.
Dudleys vs. Sean Morley was next. By the way, I actually have that Stacy Kiebler poster from RAW magazine up on my wall here in my dorm room. Extended squash here, as we have yet to have anything pleasing in terms of a wrestling match here on RAW. GIVE US A GOD DAMN GOOD WRESTLING MATCH! How hard is it to ask? We've had a crappy opener with Christian and Edge, terrible women's wrestling, a bad tag match with RVD/Kane against the horrible 3MW, and now this. I honestly don't see how this show will do anything pleasing tonight.
Batista vs. Tommy Dreamer. Seriously, coming into this match, do you even believe that Dreamer has a chance of winning? Why the hell should people watch? This show is making no sense, whatsoever. Total squash and a short, short match. Did the WWE rehire Vince Russo or something? There's no care about the in-ring product tonight. Booker T makes the running save, as he was out there to defend Goldust's honor. We get the Horsemen-like beatdown, only those guys did it better in 1987-1988, about 15 years ago now. Scott Steiner makes the save with his limited offense, and clears the ring. Wow, this is our top feud in this side of the WWE.
Bunch of meaningless backstage segments, and then we see Eric Bischoff clearing off his desk. The Dudleys come in, extremely angry, but then start another goodbye chant. GIVE ME SOME WRESTLING!!!!!!!!!!!
Chris Jericho comes out. Oh Thank God. They showed a guy from ZZ Top in the front row. It's Los Angeles. Remember, back in the day, when the WWE crowds in the Staples Center was filled with Celebrities? Oh lord, Jericho has to carry Jeff Hardy to a match again. Jeff Hardy looks like crap tonight, too, like some bum off the street. Call Jeff "backpack" because Jericho has to carry him. So Jeff is a face this week? Decide on which side he's on, guys, because it will help the crowd to cheer one guy and boo another. Jeff's looks won't make any females scream for him tonight. Nice of Jeff to overshoot that backflip, completely missing Jericho on the outside. Slow paced bout here, with no crowd reaction to get these guys going. Jericho is trying, but Hardy is badly stalling. Hardy takes a page out of Angle's playbook with the nice toss off the top rope, and can't pin Jericho with the Swanton. What is with that blue sleave on Hardy? Jericho eventually gets the Walls of Jericho on, and it's over. Not bad, but Jeff Hardy could use a nice trip to Ohio Valley Wrestling to get his wrestling drive back again. Jericho just did a complete carry job of the uninspired Hardy.
Backstage, Vince makes Booker T/Steiner vs. Triple H/Batista for next week. Only one guy can work in that match (Booker T), and that's sad if that's a main event.
Vince McMahon is in the ring, and it's time to announce the new General Manager. For some reason, Jim Ross and Eric Bischoff come down. Listen to how loud the fans are cheering for Austin. Austin has been announced, officially, to return to No Way Out. Ross was re-instated. Since Austin is back, Eric Bischoff gets to remain GM. Oh wait, my prediction came true about the KISS MY ASS CLUB. Vince drops the pants, but thankfully, Bischoff refuses. Funny how Ross can joke about the KMAC, despite joining it one time. Vince asks Bischoff to now join the Kick My Ass Club. Vince loves having Bischoff begging in front of him. Bischoff will now fight Steve Austin at No Way Out.
LAST WORD: One of the WORST RAWs ever. I try my best to never give out this grade, but this show receives a [ F ] (F) for lack of anything decent in the ring, while not delivering anything meaningful in the storyline. So what about Austin vs. Bischoff at No Way Out? Evolution can't do much with a crippled Triple H and a WEAK set of faces to go up against. It's becoming increasingly hard to watch wrestling on Mondays anymore. At least with Smackdown, the boys of the Smackdown 9 (Angle, Eddie, Chavo, Benoit, Edge, Rey-Rey, Team Angle, Brock Lesnar) can make things interesting against each other. RAW has NOTHING of interest. This show is total crap, and at this rate, I'm going to soon find myself just watching Smackdown and ignoring what happens on Monday night. Chalk it up to 2-4 in terms of good shows and bad shows. 2 out of 6 is terrible, brother.
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