Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the WRATH OF TITO. Sorry for the delay, BUT I spend the day driving back to school and digging my car out from the depths of snow. So forgive me, sucka!
Last night's RAW was in Columbus, OH. From school, it's only an hour and a half away, and I had a great time when I went up to Columbus for Smackdown in November. I thought about going to RAW, but I decided against it due to recent terrible shows that the WWE has been putting on for Monday nights. Thank God I did, because there would have been no chance in hell I'd be able to attend that sombitch. And I'm happy, too, because RAW was disappointing, once again.
But guess what? I'll be attending Smackdown in Pittsburgh on March 11th. That's right, I'm willing to make a lovely 4 hour drive to see WWE Smackdown than to waste my time with RAW in Columbus! Take that! Actually, I want to see Hulk Hogan before he retires, and he should be there, given that it's a few weeks before Wrestlemania 19. If Hogan doesn't show up, then so what? I can still enjoy the best roster of WWE wrestlers right now with Benoit, Team Angle, Kurt Angle, Guerreros, Edge, Rey-Rey, and Lesnar.
A couple backyard wrestling fanatics attacked me for my recent review of Best of Backyard Wrestling Volume 5. Don't get me wrong. I love backyard wrestling and I'm behind it 100%. But Backyard 5 is extremely repetitive in many areas, which made the DVD, as a whole, lackluster. How many times can you watch someone go through a fake wooden table of 2 chairs holding a piece of plywood, or a lightbulb getting smashed over someone's head? The backyard wrestling I love is when the gimmick creativity is great and the wrestling is effective but safe at the same time. Dropping someone through 40 lightbulbs is garbage. Jumping off roofs is garbage. Slicing your friend with barbed wire is garbage. It's not backyard wrestling. It's stupidity.
On to the RAW review!
Eric Bischoff comes out and announces that RAW will stay on track to what it has been doing for the past few months. Yay, keep it boring. Chief Morley is back, boring, and Bischoff books several crappy matches to ensure us that RAW will continue to suck.
Our next match was the most quiet I've ever heard a crowd during a match, ever. Victoria/Jazz vs. Molly Holly/Jackie was not only a bad match, but a crowd killer, too. It would help if the fans knew if Molly was a face or if Jackie was actually popular ever in her career. By the way, I find it amazing how T.A.T.U.'s "All the Things She Said", also known as Victoria's theme, is find its way on American radio stations, despite a controversial censoring of the band in most places because 2 members of the group enjoy eating a little carpet every once in a while. Jazz and Victoria won the match, and I don't care.
GREAT to see the WWE paying tribute to Curt Hennig last night with a video tribute. Given that Hennig died last Sunday/Monday, the WWE production crew probably didn't have access to the WWE video library to whip something up for last week's RAW.
Next, we had a terrible debut by Rodney Mack or Redd Dawg. Although he has a better look than D'Lo, his wrestling ability didn't look so good in his first match, possibly injuring Al Snow off the get. I'm tired of the race card being played. It will NOT give a wrestler extra crowd reactions. Just have Teddy Long talk for Mack and go from there. Maybe throw a black mask over Mack's face, find another African American and mask him as well and call them Doom 2003. Ok, I'm having WCW flashbacks and dreams. If you didn't know who Doom was, they were a great tag team in WCW during the early 1990's consisting of Hacksaw Butch Reed and Ron Simmons. Great, great tag team, which Teddy Long eventually managed.
Our next bout was Chris Jericho/Christian vs. Shawn Michaels/Jeff Hardy. This COULD have been a much better tag match. It seemed to be too short and HBK/Hardy didn't seem to work well as a tag team, either. The confusing storylines surrounding Jeff Hardy makes him working with HBK look very weak at this point, and given the 2 year destruction of Jeff Hardy, it's going to take him longer to put more effort into his matches. Jeff needs to hit the gym, tanning bed, and change his image. It was nice of Test to avoid getting to Columbus, earlier, probably putting him in big trouble with WWE management with being unable to hype his match with Chris Jericho. I'd have Jericho going cleanly over Test at No Way Out, and then keep Test off Wrestlemania as an even bigger punishment.
Total filler match between Hurricane and Chris Nowinski. I have no reason to care for either guy for how green Nowinski still is or how the Hurricane barely gets any time on RAW lately.
Another crappy match was with 3 Minute Warning and Rico against Spike Dudley. The Dudleys vs. Bischoff/Morley feud is weak to begin with, so why bother wasting our time with a handicap match that gets nothing done in the storylines?
Booker T/Scott Steinver vs. Batista/Triple H was next. A pretty bad workrate with 3 out of 4 wrestlers here. Booker T was the only light in this match, and he actually got the final pin on Triple H. I'm sure many marks will call Triple H generous for this, but just wait whenever the Booker T vs. Triple H match occurs and look where Booker is placed on the card afterwards. Booker T vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania? Batista is sooo not over, brother. No Way Out, for the RAW band, is looking pretty miserable at this point.
Our final match was Eric Bischoff vs. Jim Ross. LAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why is it that whenever someone wants to piss off Steve Austin, they always attack Jim Ross? Why? CAN'T YOU POSSIBLY THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE TO DO WHEN FEUDING WITH AUSTIN?!?!? Geesh, and you wonder why the creative end of RAW receives so much criticism.
LAST WORD: Jesus Christ, what is wrong with Monday Night RAW? The in-ring product is so poor that it can never compensate for the excessive backstage or promos during the show. I'm growing extremely tired of the RAW brand to the point that I might just watch Smackdown exclusively. I can't even go into every RAW with a feeling of optimism because I know the show needs major work to even become watchable again. I'll give this show a [ D ] (D) and a FINGER OF SHAME for showing no signs of improvement. What would I do?
1) Throw out the RAW writers. Soap opera guys can't write a wrestling show, and they prefer to have more promo time or backstage crap instead of actual matches.
2) Build up some credible main eventers to go after Triple H. Nobody on that roster has any credibility to even become champion. Booker T was in the tag division for too long... Rob Van Dam was depushed immediately after his feud with Triple H... Kane's personality has been limited in his role as a tag wrestler lately...
3) Improve the midcard. Don't just push a guy one week only to get squashed the next. And when you debut a wrestler, do it in a way that fans are informed of the guy before he makes his debut on RAW.
4) Ship some wrestlers to Ohio Valley Wrestling and fast! Guys like Nowinski need more improvement.
5) Ditch the women's division or just put it on Sunday Night Heat. It's not getting over due to bad heels in the division or a lack of male fans wanting to see butch women attack Trish Stratus.
6) Realize that this is NOT 1999 for RAW. Shock value does not work.
7) Repackage or get rid of wrestlers who aren't over or who are unwilling to improve. Storm/Regal and Test are NOT over with the crowd, yet they continually shoved down our throat. Also, many wrestlers who were over in 1999-2000 are either boring or stale here in 2003. Repackage them or push someone else who is new.
It upsets me that I gringe Monday Night RAW now. We're up to a 2-5 on RAW's this year (good shows - bad shows), and I'm getting more and more disgusted with this show by the week. I said that if the WWE doesn't improve by the whole by the few weeks after Wrestlemania, then I'll stop watching the WWE as a whole. Well, looking at it now, I like Smackdown and look foward to watching that show every week, while I dread RAW. Looks like I may drop RAW off of my viewing list sometime in the next few months instead.
Check out the Valley Wrestling Federation and Willygoat Xtreme Wrestling. Two great backyard feds!
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