Welcome to the all-new Wrath of Tito. Today's column has much to discuss, including some backlash regarding Wrestlemania, recent news bytes, and of course, my ever-famous RAW review. It seems as though the WWE usually runs strong through Backlash, and then suddenly falls apart at some point during the show and the rest of the WWE is dry until Summerslam spices things up.
I had some great feedback regarding my Wrestlemania review that I wrote yesterday. It was one of those shows that had many readers agreeing with what I said, surprise, even cheering me on for my nasty Triple H comments. Of course, there are several diehard Triple H fans who told me where to put my opinions, to which I asked them a simple question: did you believe Booker T had any chance to win that match?
I had lots of good opinions from the readers, too. Notice how it took 3 legdrops to beat Vince McMahon, 3 Rock Bottoms to beat Steve Austin, and 3 F5's to beat Kurt Angle. Ok, so what's going on here? Well, it only took ONE Pedigree to put out Booker T. That's AFTER Triple H kicked out of several Booker T trademark moves that he uses as finishers, including the Harlem Hangover. I'm growing tired of fans not "getting it" when it comes to how Triple H is horrible for business everywhere. I can't spell it out any clearer than I already do on a daily basis!
And where will Booker T go now that he's lost to Triple H? What can he do? Triple H already got him to whip out his criminal record and made all kinds of nasty comments towards him, such as degrading his WCW World Title win, that Booker T entertains and cannot be on Triple H's level, and finally, asking Booker T to carry Triple H's bags and other insulting shots. He's screwed, just like Kane was screwed after the Necrophilia angle and just like Rob Van Dam was allowed to bury himself by cutting terrible promos before his match with Triple H. It's very unfair and it will NOT be stopped because Stephanie enjoys taking Triple H's one inch of pleasure every night.
It's a shame. RAW is only watchable because of the Rock, and once he's gone, who is going to buy the RAW Exclusive Pay Per Views with Triple H as your headliner? Hell, nobody buys the Pay Per Views lately with Triple H as the co-headliner. This summer is going to be HELL for RAW unless Triple H suddenly becomes gracious to other wrestlers or if Bill Goldberg sets the world on fire. Neither are likely to happen in the LONG RUN. Maybe in the short run for Bill Goldberg, who will have the Rock putting him over like a champion, but the Rock can't stick around forever.
It seems like Brock Lesnar's injury appears to be pretty serious, scaring many backstage to think that the Undisputed champion could have a broken neck, among other things. I don't believe he has a broken neck. If he did have a broken neck, the fall he did would have broken it to the point where he wouldn't be able to move. I believe he's suffering from a broken nose and a concussion. MAYBE a sprained neck, too. I seriously hope it's not a broken neck. He's too young to mess himself up off of a botched spot, especially after headlining and winning the World title at Wrestlemania of all places.
I still say Kurt Angle will go see Dr. Youngblood and get the same surgery that Lita, Steve Austin, Chris Benoit, Scotty 2 Hotty, and Rhyno have had. The rumors about Angle returning in just 6 weeks seems a bit far fetched to me. Sure, I'd love to see Angle return quickly, but I'd also want to see him walking around when he's older and not in a wheelchair due to some "quick fix" surgery that some doctor claimed to have.
The Undertaker is going to have elbow surgery coming up on April 10, meaning that Nathan Jones will probably turn heel on him and put him out in the storylines. Yay. As much as I can't stand the Undertaker at times, the man works through many injuries. That's a big criticism of him, as the injuries hinder him from wrestling better in the ring, but he ignores pain and keeps wrestling. He was battling many injuries by the end of 1999, but he didn't quit until the WWE told him to take time off to heal a TORN GROIN! He was working with a torn freakin' groin! It's probably a great reason why so many in the back respect him, besides the seniority or the Vince McMahon bias.
I bought the Pro Wrestling Illustrated 2003 Wrestling Almanac a few days ago. Worth looking for. I'll talk more about it sometime on the next few columns, as I have to sit and read through it sometime (especially with some professors giving me a lot to read since my return from Spring break. Bastards!).
I'm glad to see Major League Baseball back in action. I've been looking foward to this more than the NCAA basketball tournaments. Fantasy Baseball is where it's at and it's a bigtime addictive drug. It will be nice to flip over to when wrestling goes to commercial.
On to the RAW review~!
The Rock or shall I say the MAN is shown backstage. Tonight is Rock Appreciation Night. The WWE has had many _______ Appreciation Nights. The WWE writers can't come up with anything new. Seriously. At least it will set up an entertaining interview and set up Bill Goldberg's debut.
What?!? Steve Austin comes out in shorts and t-shirt. RAW started out with Austin coming out last week and it received a low rating to start the show. Just saying... Austin is bitter about his loss last night and he wants Rocky to come out and shake his hand, RIGHT NOW. However, Eric Bischoff comes out, probably with another restraining order. Nope, not this week. Maybe next week. Eric Bischoff reveals that Steve Austin spent a night in the hospital. Bischoff has the file and says Austin has more spinal injuries. He actually does, and the WWE is playing off of this. Oh man, Eric Bischoff just fired Steve Austin, just like he did in WCW in 1994. Bischoff even makes mention of the Fed Ex letter getting sent to his house. How dare he do those insider references. Can't wait for Austin on Smackdown. Austin vs. Benoit again?!? FINALLY!!!!!
Real quick, kiddies. In 1994, Eric Bischoff was in his 2nd year as the boss at WCW, and in the summer of 1994, Bischoff was riding the heels of his new signee, Hulk Hogan, basically giving him free reign over everything creative. Hogan wanted his buddies to come in and do well, hence the reasoning for guys like Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Jimmy Hart, and Brutus Beefcake getting a job with WCW. Steve Austin was early 1994's booker, Ric Flair's understudy and Flair was grooming Austin for the main event until Hogan arrived. Austin was US champion at the time, and he was immediately thrown into a feud with Jim Duggan, quickly losing the title and getting embarrassed in the process. Then, when Austin tore a bicep muscle, Eric Bischoff either had his secretary call Austin or he Fed Ex'd Austin a pink slip to fire Austin. Eric felt that nobody in black tights would ever be the company's top star. D'oh! 3-4 years later, Austin had the last laugh.
The Truth "Ice Cream Truck" cigarette commercial had me laughing. That idea was probably thought up over 20-30 years ago, if that.
The biggest douche in wrestling, Triple H fought the Hurricane in the next bout. Oh man, I have a BAD feeling about this match. Funny oldschool stuff with the Hurricane giving a kid a mask, with Ric Flair stealing it from the poor child and stomping on it. That Triple H sure loves to do the Spinebuster. Crowd is very much behind Hurricane. Wow, Triple H is giving the Hurricane some offense. I can't believe my eyes! Well, that dream ended, as Triple H hit the Pedigree out of no where for the win. Isn't it funny how much quicker Triple H beat the Hurricane than it took the Rock, although Flair did interfere in the match. Another victim of Triple H.
Backstage, Kane and Rob Van Dam are talking, and Kane suggests that they go their separate ways. However, RVD got them a rematch of their HEAT match, but only on the grounds that if RVD/Kane lose, they must join the Bischoff corporation, which oddly enough, Bischoff has nothing to do with anymore. It's Chief Morley's.
Scott Steiner came out next. Where was he at Wrestlemania, like Jim Ross hyped? By the way, nice of the WWE to keep the Women's divison on Sunday Night Heat. Christopher Nowinski comes out next with a Bill Laimbeer mask on to protect his face before having plastic surgery done. "My boot will will be so far up your ass that you'll use my shoelaces as floss". Wow, what a cut down there Steiner. I remember when you were cool on the mic, and that was 3-4 years ago. Times have certainly changed. I'd suggest to turn Steiner heel, but you have the Rock, Chris Jericho, and Triple H as your top heels already.
Backstage, Terri is with Steve Austin and Austin confirms that his neck is in backstage. Terri gets emotional in the segment because Austin is leaving. Watch Howard Stern tomorrow for Goldust appearing on the show, where he totally rips Terri a new asshole. It will be on Tuesday night at 11 pm on E!. I have a feeling Austin may go to Smackdown to have a final product with Chris Benoit and then retire for good. So much for the comeback.
Seeing commercials for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City the commercial reminds me how I left my GTA 3 for the PC at home for this quarter, given how much I played it last quarter and how much I was addicted to it.
Jim Ross starts ripping Eric Bischoff, which makes me laugh because Ross getting serious is funny.
Backstage, The Dudleys talk about their roles in the Bischoff administration. Morley and Storm come in and announce that the match later on will become a 3 way tag match.
Nice aggression by Booker T on Ric Flair backstage. Book threatened Flair, but if anything, he'll wrestle Flair, but he'll never see another opportunity against Triple H ever again.
Next match is a bout between Maven versus Rosie. Not exactly the match you'd set the world on fire with on the night after Wrestlemania. Maven is badly botching moves here. He was a good 6 inches off a dropkick and he was confused on several roll ups. Oh God, that was a TERRIBLE match. Possibly the worst match of the year so far.
Jerry Lawler was shown as a Playboy celebrity photographer. It's good to be the King.
Chris Jericho comes out and pouts about the match against HBK at Wrestlemania. Jericho is seriously ready as a performer to be World champion again. Too bad the man who has been forever jealous of him has the title (Triple H). Booker T comes out for a match. Hey, the battle of Triple H bitches. This match was just starting to get good, and then Ric Flair runs down. Oh joy, then Triple H comes down to put the final nail in the coffin for Booker T's career. I can't believe nobody else can see Triple H's evil ways. Shawn Michaels would then make the save, but eventually get his by Jericho and HHH. Booker T comes back in, but gets quickly manhandled by Triple H. Weak looking Indian Death Lock. I was thinking Kevin Nash would run in, but maybe later?
Jeff Hardy vs. Steven Richards is next. Finally, Richards is wrestling a singles match. I guess Victoria's surgery is getting delayed? She's out there, playing the valet role. Haha, Richards has paint all over him from Hardy. Isn't that a ring hazard, you know, as it could cause wrestlers to slip on moves, etc? Back and forth, and then Victoria tries to cheat. However, Trish saves the day and wants to get paint all over her after the match. Not bad, but too short to develop anything.
Backstage, Austin has his bag and he's shaking the hand of everyone backstage. Smackdown, here he comes!
Backstage, Test was talking to Torrie Wilson on the phone. Damn twitching caused Goldust to rat on Test when Stacy Keibler arrived. Probably the funniest Goldust scene since the tourettes, but it's still nothing to his backstage segments in 2002.
The Rock is seen talking to the roadies Austin shook hands with backstage.
Great quote from the movie Malibu's Most Wanted: "I offered you a snack, not the whole kitchen!".
Kane/Rob Van Dam vs. Storm/Morley vs. Dudleys is our next match. Chaotic tag team match here, but watchable. The Dudleys were knocked out of the match first, taking out the drama of whether the Duds would help Morley/Storm or not. Morley does the triple suplex. Anybody else care to rip that off of Benoit and Guerrero? Notice how it had no crowd reaction. Kane and Rob Van Dam won the match. Not bad overall. RVD and Kane finally win the World Tag titles, and they are in the same exact position as Booker T and Goldust were when they were champs. Anybody care to bet me that their reign won't last longer than a month? It's good to see them as champions, though, but they are only a tag team to keep them from you know who.
Eric Bischoff promises a big surprise and the ink is still wet on the contract.
It's full circle with Roddy Piper. He'll be on Confidential bashing Hulk Hogan this week, leading me to once again believe that another terrible Hogan vs. Piper match is coming, brother. Put them in a cage so that we can have AGE IN THE CAGE 2003!
The Rock comes out since it's, you know, Rock Appreciation Night. This crowd is freakin' pumped. Imagine what will happen with Goldberg comes out. The Rock has his "magic" back in terms of mic skills again. He's the man. A nicely done Rock video is then shown, with Puff Daddy/Jimmy Paige's "Come With Me" playing in the background. Speaking of that song, I just saw the repeat of Saturday Night Live where P. Diddy and Paige played that song live. Good performance, surprisingly. This crowd is very much behind the Rock, which scares me. That's until "Goldberg" chants started. The Rock declares that there is nothing to do, and since nobody appreciates his accomplishments, he's leaving the WWE. Then, the music hits..........
Bill Goldberg makes his WWE debut and the Rock looks like he's ready to shit himself. Insanely loud Goldbeg chants. "So Rock? You wanna know who's next? You're next". Goldberg simply gives Rock a spear and walks away. The Rock sells it as though his intestines just got ripped to shreds. And so it begins.....
LAST WORD: I'm happy to see Bill Goldberg in the WWE. His segment was kept short to make sure he doesn't embarrass himself through his choppy mic skills and to allow Goldberg to get in better shape before wrestling at Backlash. As for the rest of the show.... A bastardly yet good angle to get Austin off of RAW and probably onto Smackdown. Lots of undercard wrestlers on the show tonight, for whatever reason. The matches were average, but better than most of the crap done in 2003. I'll give this show a [ B+ ] (B Plus). What?!? No Kevin Nash?!? Yeah, why make him return on the same night of Goldberg's debut? Funny how some tried to insist that Nash was showing up. I figured he would during the HBK/Booker T beatdown. Good show overall and Backlash is something to look foward to here in 2003.
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