You task me, you task me! Welcome to the 3rd Wrath of Tito in a row. I told you, I CAN do this. Besides, I get off on reviewing wrestling multimedia. It's fun, albeit costly. Since I purchased a video, book, or music CD, I have the ABSOLUTE RIGHT to criticize it as a consumer. Today, I'll discuss the "Stone Cold Truth" book by Steve Austin, ripping it apart for the WWE sterile book that it is.
If I were the WWE, I'd seriously consider re-signing Bill Goldberg. Of course, the argument is against paying Goldberg another $1.5 million for another year. Given Goldberg's track record for wanting lucrative contracts (getting 2 new contracts in WCW, for example, while existing ones were in place), I bet he's going to ask for the same money. Given that the WWE has cut their costs and trimmed some fat off their product lately, why not give him another shot? I don't know about you, but at two moments this year, he delivered. First, it was at Summerslam, where he exploded onto the scene and made the Elimination Chamber fun to watch. Secondly, his stuff at No Way Out was very exciting. This feud with Brock Lesnar could seriously go throughout the summer. It could have actual legs to it, and Goldberg on Smackdown could be a nice breath of fresh air. You can seriously suffocate on RAW with Triple H dominating the show and with the many, many stale wrestlers there.
It's EXTREMELY clear to me that Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar is the feud getting the most attention by fans for Wrestlemania 20, of all things. The WWE would be absolutely CRAZY to let Goldberg go after Wrestlemania with this type of attention going towards him. He'll come out of Wrestlemania without a contract, and a fed like NWA-TNA could steal the popularity momentum.
Goldberg has been severely over when the WWE takes the training wheels off of him, such as Summerslam and No Way Out. He has NOT been a backstage problem, other than a brief squabble with Chris Jericho when first arriving. I mean, look, he had past problems with Triple H, even bashing the guy in his book! Triple H had no reservations about handing Goldberg the title, nor did he have a problem with losing to Goldberg on the following Pay Per View.
The WWE dislikes him because he takes no crap from the Creative Team. They suggested that he use the spear as his finisher, but Goldberg was hardlined on keeping the Jackhammer as the final finisher. The Creative Team in the WWE aren't exactly great, just looking at the past 3 years in the WWE to determine that fact. His salary may be too high in today's wrestling market, but have you tried to offer him $1 million? Maybe something with incentives? I'm sorry, but letting one half of your most popular Wrestlemania 20 feud walk out the door after the show is over is absolutely crazy. There's more business to be made and Goldberg, in my opinion, can make it big on Smackdown. RAW is so lame with the Evolution crap and the wrestlers there have become so stale.
I'd give him a one year extension. It's a better gamble than starting a football league or hoping that Mark Henry will become a main event caliber wrestler over 10 years.
Kanyon became the latest WWE casualty. He's another victim of the creative team saying "we have nothing for you", as Kanyon was mostly seen wrestling dark matches or whatever else, but never on Smackdown. This is a shame. Kanyon is a very talented performer, with a goofy persona that DID work in 2001 (who betta than Kanyon?). Kanyon suffers from being DDP's friend (as the WWE hates DDP, for God knows what ever reason) and from being a WCW midcarder. He does in fact have the ability and the other tangibles to make it to the next level. It's just a matter of the creative team wanting to include him on the storylines.
Are you noticing that trend? The creative teams are saying "we have nothing for you right now" a lot of many WWE midcarders. This stubborn nature of the creative team has cost a few wrestlers their jobs. It's extremely clear that the writers have their favorites OR Vince McMahon has his favorites to include on RAW or Smackdown, while always ignoring the ones outside of McMahon or the team's personal favorites. Just remember, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Chris Jericho, the Undertaker, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and many more were screwed by creative team biases in the past, and look what happened. If you let go a midcarder today, they may blossom into big business somewhere else. IN MY OPINION, Kanyon could be a nice case of this.
It's very clear that the WWE signed Zach Gowen because of his handicap and pushed him on television because of his handicap. Why? Because they released the guy without ever giving him a chance to prove he can wrestle beyond his handicap. Way to go on the human services, WWE.
Ernest "the Cat" Miller was released. He doesn't have the wrestling ability. Outside the ring, the former Karate champion could kick anybody's ass. BUT, as a wrestler, he's terrible and I figured this would happen. It's funny, though, given that the WWE tried to push this guy on Smackdown a few weeks prior to Miller's release. Way to waste television time... I wonder when the WWE considers a push for a guy if they actually look at the person's track record, wrestling ability, or overall appeal to the fans? Of course they don't.
Brutus Beefcake caught with cocaine? Why does it not surprise me that a former WWF wrestler was found with drugs, namely one from the 1980's? Just remember, Beefcake was the first to hand Mr. Perfect a loss on camera. What does this have to do with anything? Well, nothing, other than Perfect dying of cocaine usage.
And as a reminder, check out Mr. Tito's BLOG for opinions on other things in the world outside of wrestling.
On to the book review!
The book is 312 pages long of about 10 point font, but pretty spaced out. A good speed reader could take care of this book in a few hours, easily. It's an easy read, and I appreciate that sort of thing (unlike Lawler's book, which I'm torturing myself to one day get through). I appreciate that I had something to read and there were some things interesting mentioned in the book, such as his relationship with Chris Adams and Owen Hart, his health, and a few other general comments about professional wrestling. Maybe too easy, for there's a lack of details given on certain points of his career.
Want examples? Well, for WCW, he could have went in depth about his final days more. Why was he the US champion to receive a push under Flair's brief run as booker in 1994, when he suddenly began jobbing to Hacksaw Jim Duggan after Hogan arrived? He could have discussed his WCW career, as a whole, a little better, for he only gave us a crash course of some experiences in that fed. The ECW stuff and World Class stuff were good, namely in ECW where he credited that fed for the early stages of the Austin character. I like how he had some guts to talk about his love life, although he can't mention any details about the Debra domestic violence incident in 2002.
But his WWE career... He devoted only FIVE pages to discuss Wrestlemania 13, 14, and 15. Are you kidding me? Wrestlemania 13 was insanely important for Austin and a bigtime turning point in his career. Wrestlemania 14 was his first World Championship, and Wrestlemania 15 was a big deal with Austin and Rock in the main event. 5 freakin' pages?!? He seems to forget a lot of other key things, such as the Brian Pillman gun incident on RAW or his problems working with Jeff Jarrett in a program. He just seems to give an overview of various storylines, wrestlers, or matches he had, while not really including any insider information as to why those happened.
Then, you have the whole walk-out situation. He added "health problems" to the equation in his explanation, which was originally featured in RAW magazine. I can't deny that his neck was probably starting to hurt at the time, but if you're hurting, then why not talk to a road agent or a McMahon about this? He walked out, plain and simple, over issues against the creative team. He voiced his opinion in several places before walking out, and it was only a matter of time before he officially did it. While he offered the same explanation against the creative team in RAW magazine (citing he was against scripted promos and letting wrestlers have more flexibility on their own characters), he made it out to be like it was his neck that made him walk out, not issues with creative. Please, if you're hurt, tell somebody.
I did like his stuff about his early life, though, better than most of the books out there. He shows a lot of love and respect for his family, including his daughters, parents, and siblings. He explains his athletic career and his time as a wrestling fan. It's pretty solid and it didn't bore me, unlike the usual early days stuff.
One thing about the WWE books, with the exception of Foley, are the co-writers. It seems like Dennis Brent (the co-author) told me Austin's story, not Steve Austin himself. The advantage of Foley, Goldberg, Piper, Dynamite, and others was the freedom they had on telling their story. Austin's career seems to be told by a filter, and when I read this book, it just didn't seem like it was Austin telling me about his life. Maybe that's why the book lacks details in various places. Not sure, but as I said before, this book seemed to skim through big parts of his career, namely in the WWE.
LAST WORD: While I liked having something easy to read, I thought the book could have provided more details. 5 pages for 3 important Wrestlemanias to Steve Austin? Absurd. This book was clearly filtered by the WWE, just recycling a lot of what was said in RAW magazine and a lot of love of Vince McMahon was shown on Austin's behalf. I'll go [ C+ ] (C-plus) because Austin could have put out a much better book on his own without the WWE wanting to quickly put out this book without great details.
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@That's all for today. Thanks a million for reading.