Welcome to the latest edition of da WRATH OF TITO. I don't know what it is lately, but I'm just not all there lately. I don't know, I just seem unmotivated lately and burned out from doing anything. I don't know if going to school 4 days, holding office hours as a graduate assistant, working all weekend, and then trying to have a social life is taking a toll on ol' Tito, but I've been struggling to hold up lately. I was fine last quarter when my classes appeared to be harder than this quarter, yet I seem to be dragging ass all of the time lately. I don't know.... Maybe it's coming with age, as I turned 23 on Monday. Hopefully, it passes by and I won't be too grouchy in today's column.
For my birthday, I received the Hardy Boyz book, to which I'd rather read that the Jerry Lawler book right now (if I find any time to read). I just can't get into Lawler's book, for whatever reason. I might just save both books for June, once I'm done with this quarter, and read them during the week I have off before I start my Master's thesis.
I did catch SMACKDOWN, somehow, as it's easy to watch while you're working out. The show started off with Big Show/Albert-Train versus Rey-Rey/Tajiri. I'm literally amazed at how Tajiri and Mysterio can put up a good fight against the World Tag champs, yet get pounded on by Big Show and Albert. Sure, the other guys equal about 3 of each of Tajiri and Rey, but come on!!! Nobody wants to see 2 big fat slobs beating two good Cruiserweights. It does NOTHING for either team. And you wonder why people criticize Stephanie and the rest of the WWE creative team. Joy, nothing like a goofy 1980's gimmick to bring back Hulk Hogan for one more run (Mr. America). Eddie Guerrero vs. Jamie Noble was too short... I wish Sable would do more than just lesbian stuff, but at least it beats any of the boring women's wrestling on RAW.
Amazingly, the WWE reunion tour continued with Jimmy Snuka showing up. Amazing how the WWE can just bring back Snuka for one night whenever they want, but they won't pay him a dime for anything else that he's contributed to the WWE in the past. Terrible women's match between Nidia vs. Torrie, but what else is new? Decent Cruiserweight match between Matt Hardy and Brian Kendrick, but too bad it can't be given at least 5 minutes or maybe even 15 minutes as you saw the Kane/RVD vs. Storm/Morley match get on RAW last Monday. Heaven forbid. Another terrible showing from Nathan Jones, as he fought Nunzio in a bad looking squash match. I'm sure Nunzio will get blamed for it. That's how the WWE works. It's like the guys above 6'6" aren't terrible wrestlers in Vince's mind, and smaller guys suffer if they don't murder themselves from the bumps they'd perform for the big pieces of shit.
Our final match was Chris Benoit vs. John Cena. Pretty good overall. Cena has wins over Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and the Undertaker in just 3 weeks, 2 of the matches being clean wins. That's good company, brotha, but time will tell if this quick push will help "make" Cena's career. It's doubtful that Lesnar will drop the title to Cena, but I give the WWE credit for trying to push John Cena, no matter how much more deserving Chris Benoit is to headline a Pay Per View for Smackdown's roster. We harp on the WWE for not creating stars, so no matter how much you dislike Cena, at least give credit where it's due to the WWE by going through with his push. I'll give the show a [ C ] for a general lack of time for the undercard matches or shitty undercard matches in general. Come on, this is a wrestling show. At least give some of the matches 5 minutes instead of 2 or 3 minutes. And by the way, did the WWE ever figure out that Smackdown is one of the top rated shows for teenage males on Thursday nights? Yeah, go figure with the returns of Piper and Snuka, along with Hogan and Vince McMahon getting top billing.
The WWE will NEVER learn until a form of competition steps up to the plate. Come on NWA-TNA, get rid of Vince Russo already!!!
I want to thank everyone for their feedback regarding the Fact or Fiction columns. It's a pleasure to work with Da Ref and Schwab, and I'm glad the column is a big success for us and Lords of Pain. Feedback is very much appreciated.
I don't have too much else to say right now, so on with the RAW review already.
Funny... Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair are backstage, and they aren't throwing punches! They tried to cover their mistake of last week's early announcement of the 6 man match by saying Bischoff made the match. HBK is the ref for the Booker T vs. Triple H match later. If Booker T wins the title tonight, it will be in a very cheap fashion and he won't remain champion for long. This IS Triple H's show and nobody but himself or his pals will get top billing.
RAW is in Atlanta, so if they don't push Bill Goldberg HARD tonight, something is very, very wrong.
The show starts off with Chris Jericho vs. Hurricane. Talk about the potential for a hot match. Nice sunset cradle move off the top rope Hurricane did there. The match had some stall mat wrestling to start, but it soon picked up. People ask me what wrestlers the RAW roster has to push and put on good matches for a change. Here you are. The Walls attempted by the Hurricane got the crowd into it, and the chokeslam received a big pop. Jericho won with the Walls after Jericho held the referee on a move. Ric Flair then comes down and attacks the Hurricane. Flair slaps on the Figure 4. Flair vs. Hurricane would be pretty good to watch, or at least entertaining.
The Rock is shown getting out of his SUV style limo.
The Most Extreme Elimination Challenge from TNN is such a terrible show. The announcers are pathetic and the "challenges" are so stupid and at times, hardly extreme. Bruce Almighty looks kinda funny. Jim Carrey is usually good, unlike Adam Sandler who is in total decline. TNN is the only network that airs Friday the 13th movies when it's not Friday the 13th or Halloween. I appreciate that.
SMELL THE RATINGS as Rodney Mack comes out. Teddy Long gets on the mic and makes more racial overtones and the new thing is that Rodney will beat any "whiteboy" in 5 minutes. I love how the WWE pays attention to guys whom the crowd doesn't give any response to (Rodney Mack). I can't believe we are witnessing a jobber match here on RAW. Teddy Long sounded so stupid on the mic, with his Hatoraid and "playa" comments, overdoing both phrases badly. Get real. Rodney wins and nobody cares.
Backstage, there's some tension between Booker T and HBK. I still see the Clique, meaning Nash, HBK, and Triple H, getting together and calling themselves the "Clique", and then getting new "cool" ring music and goofing around in their promos together. Yeah, just like DX.
Bill Goldberg is shown with some troops. As many problems as he has backstage and in the WWE, he's great with charities and causes.
Johnathan Coachman introduces Lita, who seems to have new music. She has a mic. Oh my God! Before explaining she can wrestle again, EVIL Eric Bischoff comes out. Bischoff hits on her but says that she's worthless since she's unable to wrestle. Bischoff suggests that Lita to give RAW some extra P.R. by undressing for Playboy, but Lita says she'll do it on her own terms. Bischoff is firing lines off of a bad porno, inciting that Lita get nude for him. Lita turns him down, obviously, by saying "Go to Hell" and Bischoff FIRES her from RAW. This is an excuse to put her on Smackdown to be with Matt Hardy. Very generous of the WWE.
Backstage, pussy Triple H and Ric Flair talk, and HHH is more concerned about HBK as referee than the match.
3 Minute Warning, the biggest busts in WWE Developmental history, wrestle against Test and Scott Steiner. Stacy is looking great, as usual. Christopher Nowinski is at ringside. Scott Steiner seems to be getting a huge pop for his intros. Too bad he's too bulky, old, and limited from injuries to perform after it. Steiner is going to hurt himself by taking some of 3MW's moves. Good to see that he's selling the moves, which many don't do for 3MW, although they suck anyway. Steiner/Test get some good momentum, until Test gets distracted by Steiner helping the injured Stacy out. Steiner eventually won with the reverse DDT (or Scorpion Death Drop or Skinner's old move or Christian's DDT). Looked kinda weak. Not too bad of a match, considering its performers. Test/Steiner could work as a regular tag team, but they just have to share those long legs of Stacy.
Steiner and Test confront each other about the match. This team could work...
Kevin Nash is backstage with Bischoff. Nash will "pick his side" for whatever that means. By the way, Nash is 44 years old. Sorry for the confusion on the age, but his body is probably 50 or older, given how much of a beating it has taken throughout the years through wrestling and basketball.
Our lord and master, the Rock, comes out for his Rock concert, version 2.0. The Rock hits on Lilian for good measure on the way into the ring. Hey, I would too. Some faint Goldberg chants, but you'd figure they'd boo Rocky out of the building, given that Goldberg is FROM Atlanta. Oh my, they brought back GILLBERG! Da man! Rock said he'd bring out Goldberg, and this is what he gives the fans. Funny stuff. Rock is heavily protected by security and they keep Goldgerg away from the rock for a moment, until Goldberg decided to demolish security. Goldberg then goes after Gill, but the Rock runs in and drills the Rock Bottom on Goldberg, to a pretty loud pop. Scary. Goldberg gets back up and chases after Rocky. Backstage, Rocky gets into his SUV limo and leaves the arena quickly. However, Goldberg jumps into his vehicle, something Vin Diesel would drive in a movie. It stalls... weird. Rock wasn't in the limo after all, and laughs at Goldberg running after the limo. Good segment overall, but I fear what may happen if fans don't want to cheer Goldberg because he's proven to be a weak heel if the WWE has to resort to that.
Rene & Sylvian, the evil French wrestlers, do a promo bashing America's relations to the UN. I won't comment.
Trish Stratus/Spike Dudley were about to take on someone when Chief Morley comes down and introduces the Dudleys as their opponents. Dudleys are the hand-chosen opponents to take on Kane/RVD for the World Tag Titles at Backlash. Wow, a whole 6 days of hype. After a devastating powerbomb on Spike, Morley insists that they kill Trish Stratus. D'Von won't let Bubba put Trish through a table, and the stalling enables Kane and RVD to run down for the save. RVD can have the weakest punches, sometimes. Teddy Long and Jazz run down to attack Jazz as well during the clusterfuck, as the WWE reminds us that they aren't trying too hard to hype Backlash this year. Thanks.
Rocky is back for a second singing, and Bill Goldberg makes his way to the ring to pound on the Rock. Before he can spear Rocky, Christian cheapshots Goldberg. Goldberg fights both back, but eventually takes some NASTY chairshots by the Rock!!!!! OUCH to the one on the side of Goldberg's head. That one had to hurt, gimmicked chair or not. Good stuff.
Both Kevin Nash and Triple H talk to HBK, showing something screwy is going to happen in the future.
It's funny watching WWE television. You keep seeing the same commercials, over and over again. It pays to lose a bunch of sponsors due to the Parents Television Council in 2000, eh?
*Rolls eyes* at Mr. America.
Thank God Shawn Michaels isn't refereeing in his short shorts. I can't deal with that ever again. Triple H vs. Booker T is your main event. Let's hope it beats the Wrestlemania match, for both wrestlers' sakes. Match is off to a slow star, and Chris Jericho walks down for whatever reason. We go to commercial. Not setting the world on fire, so far. Back from commercial.... Triple H loves his spinebusters. Triple H must have the most limited and repetitive moveset known to man. This is a match in SLOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW motion. I can't believe Vince McMahon can actually tolerate Triple H sucking this badly as the top guy of RAW. Booker T hits the Axe Kick, but loads of distractions prevent him from getting the quick pin. A GOOD referee would send the outside distractions to the back. Another Axe Kick hit and Flair distracts HBK. Chris Jericho runs and hits Booker... but he leaves the title in the ring. D'oh. Shawn Michaels then superkicks Triple H, and just as Booker T gets ready to cover... Flair stops the count. Wow, didn't see that finish coming. And a bunch of marks thought Booker T had an actual chance of winning the title. Kevin Nash comes down, confronts both of his buddies, and takes a kick to the groin by Triple H to end the show.
LAST WORD: What do I keep preaching? Triple H will NOT give up a title belt to anybody who isn't a close friend of his. Triple H and Kevin Nash are going to trade the title around this summer, and we have some future buyrates to sink because of that. I thought the Goldberg/Rock stuff was entertaining, and the 2 segments were good, despite not playing up the fact that Goldberg was from Atlanta, despite a few mentions here and there by the announcers and the Rock. Goldberg helped fill the Georgia Dome during his heyday (well, not all the way, but you know what I mean). The matches weren't up to snuff, but you should know, heading in, that match quality isn't there when you watch RAW. I liked Jericho vs. Hurricane, but thought Booker T vs. Triple H was very lame. What was with the jobber match for Rodney Mack tonight? Strange. I'll give this show a [ B- ] (B minus), but I'm sooo not looking foward to Nash vs. Triple H feuds this summer. Not at all. RAW needs better match quality, and that means actually making worthy wrestlers into regular wrestlers (example, Rico) and not making your matches turning into clusterfucks of overbooking. That's what you get for hiring a soap opera writer to lead the RAW creative team.
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