Welcome to the very latest edition of the WRATH OF TITO. I don't know what it is, but man, I'm getting more feedback regarding my opinions lately for whatever reason. I don't know if there's something in the water, from the Fact or Fiction columns, or that some statements I've made lately (50 Cent, NWA-TNA, Women's division, etc) have really got the blood flowing in readers.
Oh well. Expect an extra Wrath of Tito this week, as I review Roddy Piper's book. It's a very interesting book, and I finished it Saturday night. I would have had a review, but I feel I need an extra day to look up some info, such as Piper's NWA-TNA comments about Owen Hart. If anyone has a transcript of that, send it this way! I figure, too, that it will be an extensive review than other book reviews as of late, given some controversial comments or truthful comments in the book. It's definitely worth going out of your way for, but I'll have my full review on it Wednesday, and probably post the new Fact or Fiction on Thursday.
I would have had a possible weekend Wrath of Tito to review Smackdown, BUT I was too caught up reading Piper and other things to get around to reviewing it after I watched the show Friday afternoon. I do want to review Smackdown, as it was a great show by the WWE!! The show started off with Matt Hardy vs. Brock Lesnar. Decent opener, as I hardly think Matt Hardy should be Cruiserweight champion these days. He's not too small compared to the WWE hosses. It's not like he looked like a midget against Lesnar, and he held his own. Just leave it to good ol' boy politics to keep a youngster, such as Hardy, from shining. At least he's a Hardy that is still trying these days.
Next, we had Nidia/Jamie Noble vs. Torrie/Brian Kendrick. Kendrick is proving to me, each week, that he's quite a talented wrestler and worthy of being in the WWE. He works well with Noble, and this mixed tag was better than any RAW ones of late, and that's with Torrie not being too trained in the art of wrestling and Nidia still in need of some training. Torrie was looking fantastic, I might add. Speaking of great looks, I'm glad to see that Sable applied on some extra make-up to look younger. I still would. :) Rhyno vs. Chris Benoit was solid, especially with those hard chops.
I was highly entertained by Piper's Pit. I GOT the references, therefore, it was fun for me. I'm sure several 1998 fans are like "who is this guy", etc. That's the whole problem with bringing back older stars of the past. I really hope an explanation regarding Sean O'Haire is given next week. Team Angle vs. Mysterio/Tajiri was a good tag match. Charlie Haas seems to have good mic skills, which is going to be a great plus down the road. Nathan Jones vs. Bill DeMott was the only blackspot of this show. The WWE clearly knows how bad of a wrestler Jones is, yet they keep trying to push him and trying to hide his poor wrestling ability. The final match was John Cena vs. the Undertaker. The screwjob win is the best thing you can get out of the Undertaker if you're under 6 foot 5, so take it whenever you can get it. I thought Cena did a better job with the Taker than what the WWE thinks of him. That match apparently measured Cena's push, and sunk his battleship in the WWE's mind in terms of maybe fighting at Backlash. Cena just needs time, like another month or two, to be built up for a real title shot.
I give Smackdown a grade of an [ A ]. Great show all around, and an A+ would be awarded IF AND ONLY IF the Bill DeMott vs. Nathan Jones was something else. It was *that* bad, but other than that, it's a show that makes you proud to be a wrestling fan.
I don't know about you, but I'm upset that Kurt Angle went for the quick fix neck surgery, which will only keep him out for 2 months instead of a year. The 2 month quick fix is a temporary fix, which will force Angle to have the one-year surgery somewhere down the line. As much as I want Angle back on my television as soon as possible, I'd rather wait a year, knowing that Angle would have a smaller chance of ending up in a wheelchair. He's probably my favorite performer anymore, and I don't want to see him ending up in a wheelchair because he took a chance on a quick fix just to get back into the WWE so quickly.
Now, I'm not one to purposely link another wrestling website in this column, but I was really moved by Mike Coughlin's column on the Observer website. He does a commentary on Lance Storm, which puts a lot of things in perspective when it comes to Storm. You can read this excellent piece by Clicking Here.
As I said above with the Piper book, since I'm done with that, I'll casually get into the Jerry Lawler book again. It's just too descriptive, thereby boring so far to read. But I'll give it another chance.
On to the RAW review.
Triple H comes down to respond to Nash, all decked out as if Flair is his manager. Har har. HHH says he can't stand Shawn Michaels, leading me to believe that a swerve is going to happen. Shawn Michaels had enough and comes down to the ring and wants a piece of Triple H. Funny. Notice how the attention of RAW is suddenly shifted to these 3, each were champions during the biggest ratings slides in WWE history. Triple H says that it's either himself or HBK, giving Nash a choice between former Clique buddies. Triple H says "I'm the leader, I'm the general, I call the shots around here". What a true statement. Triple H then says that HBK will "steal your spotlight". Is Triple H calling himself HBK and talking to a mirror? Triple H makes a threat that you're either with me or against me, and then walks out because he's the Game-ah. Triple H makes an interesting statement, saying that their most success came about when they both walked away from Shawn Michaels.
Stacy Kiebler is backstage, looking mighty fine, and she finds all kinds of jack-off materials in Test's bag, and also finding Torrie's Playboy. Seriously, why look at a Playboy when you can screw Stacy whenever you want?!?
Test and Stacy come to the ring. Test is such a loser. He has decent ability, too, but just zero personality the charisma of a doornob. His opponent is Chris Jericho. Ok, that makes sense to feed the crowd in the first match. A heel against a guy acting like a heel. Way to get that crowd jumpstarted, WWE. Of course, it's better than starting the division with the Women's division, which is what we had last week. Stacy and Test are having "problems", as Stacy isn't paying attention to the match. Who pays attention to Test matches anyway? Jericho wins, whoppee.
Eric Bischoff promises to give Austin fans what they want, later tonight. Ok, we've been there, done that.
Backstage, Test tries to kiss up to Stacy, comparing her to Torrie. He then screws up when comparing Torrie and Stacy's breasts. D'oh!
Torrie/Ivory vs. Victoria/Jazz is up next. Victoria is back in the ring again, after a few weeks of resting her torn ACL. Ivory is a face again? I'd be remiss if I didn't say how "butch" Jazz was looking tonight, while Ivory is looking good in her long return. Nice punches, there, ladies. Way to keep 3 inches away from your opponent's heads. I like Teddy Long as Jazz's manager, although I HATE the racism card being played. After a boring match, Jazz "gets her heat back" from last week by making Trish submit, cleanly.
Bill Goldberg is backstage, and his "relative" Goldust. Goldust welcomes him with his twitching, which kills any seriousness of WWE segments lately. Goldberg is Steve Austin's size, easily. Goldberg asks that Goldust never put a whig on his head again, or else.
Eric Bischoff comes out to Steve Austin music as another prank. He has a special "merchandise offer" for Austin's fans. What's with the Shopzone ad, here? They offered a legit offer of 2 t-shirts and a Wrestlemania 19 program for $39.95. I don't know if was a play for heat or a desparate ploy to get people to actually pay high prices for WWE stuff. Booker T comes out and has a deal for Eric Bischoff. He offers Booker T vs. Triple H in a rematch for tonight. If given the match, it's nice of the WWE to hype it with only one hour.
Rob Van Dam/Kane vs. Lance Storm/Chief Morley in a no DQ match is next. I have a bad, bad feeling heading into this match. Oh boy, Coach promises an Al Snow/Maven vs. 3 Minute Warning match for TNN Heat. Wow. Notice how there's no mention of Tough Enough lately? "ECW" chants start with Lance Storm and RVD in the ring. Match goes back and forth. It must be a new law that RVD takes a nasty DDT in each match now. Commercial break. WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!! TUNE IN NEXT WEEK! Well, not really, although I have a feeling a Nitro ending might happen with the Booker T vs. Triple H match later. If it's a no DQ match, then why are there regular tags? Oh yeah, logic escaped the WWE long ago. That same logic says the Dudleys are allowed to get involved with the match. After some Dudley interference, Kane chokeslams Storm and sets RVD for the Van Terminator, which barely even hits Storm's chair. That's a dangerous move to even try, as RVD may have dropped too hard on his back. Not a bad match, but if it's no DQ, then make it no DQ. All I ask!
Backstage, Flair and Triple H talk to Bischoff about the title match later on. What possible reason should Booker T get the title shot? Hurricane jumps in and mentions that Booker T beat Triple H last week in the title match and that Flair interfered in the Wrestlemania 19 match. Hurricane has me in tears. After a few match offers, Flair vs. Booker T, if Booker wins he gets a shot at Triple H. Secondly, the offer was Triple H vs. Hurricane for a title shot. But it eventually leads to Hurricane/Booker T vs. Flair/Triple H, where if Hurricane/Booker T win, Booker T gets another title shot against Triple H. I still predict a Nitro run in finish.
Nice to see the Acolytes visiting troops and military stuff. Nothing but praise and respect for our American troops for doing the dirty work overseas while we can sit here and enjoy wrestling every Monday night.
The Rock joins us for from Hollywood via satellite, or better yet, taped interview. Funny stuff calling Virginia, West Virginia. Rock has a new guitar, and he'll play for us next week on RAW. WOW! It's in Atlanta, Goldberg's hometown. That's going to be an awesome show next week. They say Rocky is scared of Goldberg, and that prompts Rock to accept the challenge. I'm actually looking foward to that match. Rock calls Goldberg a "whisker biscuit", which is pretty harsh, yo.
Christian vs. Goldust, pointless filler match, is next. Christian's new music mix is terrible! A chair gets involved and Goldust wins via DQ. Wow, that was a waste. Well, not exactly, as it's probably setting up da man to come out and maybe do some moves. Bill Goldberg runs down and plants Christian with a spear. Nice. JACKHAMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's about damn time. He held Christian up with ease, showing he's probably training for his match at Backlash. Good stuff.
The Great Debate: Steiner vs. Nowinski. Tonight's topic is the war in Iraq. We don't need to hear American politics on WWE television. Go Steiner! This sets up Steiner to get attacked by 3 Minute Warning and Rico. Joy.
The Nouvelles are coming to the WWE. Ignoring the France stuff, just realize two talented youngsters are getting an opportunity to shine and getting promoted to the main roster.
Our final match was Triple H/Ric Flair vs. Booker T/Hurricane. It will be good when Flair is in the ring. The match was back and forth, not exactly setting the world on fire. The match ended with HBK running in and hitting the Sweet Chin Music on Flair. Of course, Triple H ain't jobbing 2 weeks in a row. Nash comes walking down to make the face save after Jericho made the heels get on the beatdown advantage. Nash isn't going to run down to the ring and hurt himself. Nash then accidentally hits Booker T, and Booker T accidentally hits HBK. D'oh. Notice how HBK and Nash didn't accidentally hit each other, which leads to my theory of a big swerve happening at Backlash.
LAST WORD: I don't know what to think of this show. Poor wrestling, with some storylines being decent while others are ridiculous. Goldberg was better this week, while the ending of RAW with Nash, Booker T, and HBK was dry. I don't know, but this wasn't a good, overall show like last week, so hence a [ C ] (C) grade. I'm sure I'll get labeled negative for the grade, but whatever. Heaven forbid that I gave an A- and an A for last week's shows.
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