Welcome to another RAW review Wrath of Tito column. Just some overall interesting discussions regarding Backlash from Sunday night. I can honestly say that I gave it one of the few positive reviews online, and I'm the one usually labeled "negative". I thought the show was at least watchable, with a few good matches (although not great) here and there. I, however, can see how there could be a big potential path of destruction for the WWE in the summer months from what transpired at Backlash.
You know, I've been receiving several "online petitions", if you will, about boycotting Monday Night RAW. That's fine and dandy, but you must remember that much less than 5% of the wrestling fans might be internet wrestling fans. Even if the petitions spread throughout the internet and got up to 5% of the audience not watching, it will only take just 0.175 off of, say, a 3.5 rating. You're little petitions ain't gonna do shit to the RAW rating. The WWE gets a flat rate on television revenue, anyway, so what will a loss of viewers, albeit small, do to their advertising dollars? Nothing!
If you honestly want to get them where it hurts, you'd be better off boycotting the first RAW Pay Per View, probably headlined by Kevin Nash vs. Triple H. The buyrate will be low anyway, but to show your hatred for Triple H and the way he runs things for the RAW roster, get the WWE where it hurts, as they rely on Pay Per View buys and would like to keep them up to at least break even with a Pay Per View provider.
But don't do that. As much as you hate the WWE and it's creative direction, realize that the wrestlers have families and may have limited options on where else to work if the WWE really starts losing money. Your best bet to really get to the WWE and make them better is to do what my Fact or Fiction co-writer, Da Ref, said a few weeks ago and that's to SUPPORT COMPETITION so that it would one day come up and bite the WWE in the arse. Now, whether that's supporting NWA-TNA or another up and coming federation, whatever, that's probably your best option to improve the WWE. The NWA-TNA is probably in the best position right now to challenge the WWE, as if their numbers improve on Pay Per View, then maybe some cable network would take notice and start paying them for their programming.
I'm really disappointed in the way the WWE has handled Bill Goldberg, thus far. The change of the music, last night, was the icing on the cake. I tolerated the match, but damn that music was so weak for him. I know Goldberg isn't the most talented wrestler in the world, but he has a small track record of success, dating from a few highly rated matches on television during WCW. But we go from an unannounced return on RAW, to the comedy segment with Goldust backstage, to the lack of music during a Christian attack, to not addressing and playing off the fact that Goldberg is from Atlanta while being in Atlanta for a RAW, and to having the Rock cut a massive FACE promo before their match at Backlash. I mean, come on with the "wisker biscuit bald headed bitch" comment by the Rock before their match. And the funny thing about this is that the WWE is paying Goldberg lots of money just to embarrass him and put one last nail in the WCW legacy's grave.
I wonder how Matt Hardy and Chris Benoit feel about being left out of the Pay Per View?
On to the RAW review!
The Hurricane comes down, and his opponent was Chief Morley. I find Bischoff's right hand man to be extremely boring. By the way, the Dudleys have been suspended without pay... again. *Sigh* Funny beginning with Morley and Hurricane mocking each other. Match slowed down from the start though. Morley hit a spinebuster. Seriously, how overused is THAT move? Good counter to the Shining Wizard by Morley. Dead crowd here, brotha, and this is with Boston fans waiting to erupt. Hurricane wins with something that looked like the Buff Blockbuster.
Backstage, Triple H and Ric Flair talk, and Triple H announces that he talked Bischoff into giving them a shot at the tag titles. I'd be happy for Ric Flair to win the titles, but Triple H?
I'm sooooooo happy that "The Real Cancun" bombed in the box office, getting under $3 million in its opening week. There were high hopes for this to become the test for future possible reality movie features, but thankfully, that might not happen with this blessing in the sky.
To ABSOLUTE SILENCE, Rodney Mack comes out with Teddy Long. Their only reaction was when Teddy Long started ripping into Larry Bird. Oh joy, another squash match, as the WWE shows continue to get more watered down by the weeks. Not to knock the gimmick, but Rodney Mack is one of the more light skinned African Americans that I've ever seen. Mack won in under 2 minutes with a powerslam. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... Teddy Long then introduces the new Women's Champion, Jazz, and they celebrate with balloons and all. Wake me up when it's over.
That Wolverine's Revenge video game looks pretty darn good.
Eric Bischoff and Trish Stratus talk rematch with Jazz, and Bischoff starts a stipulation that if Trish can beat him in the ring tonight, she'll get a title match, but if she loses, Trish will become the dish for Eric to munch on later...
Backstage, Test and Stacy argue about what happened last night and tagging up with Scott Steiner.
The Sour Starbursts commercials are pretty funny. They aren't too sour, by the way, or enough to make an embarrassing face.
Kane/Rob Van Dam vs. Triple H/Kane for the World Tag Titles is up next... It's rather interesting lately how Ric Flair has been wrestling on a regular basis. Guess what? Triple H did a spinebuster! HOLY SHIT! Never saw that before in the WWE lately or in a Triple H match. It's the usual "fun when Flair is in, boring when Triple H is in" tag team match. Good stuff with RVD doing the Rolling Thunder on Flair while the Figure 4 was applied. Triple H is sure to hit the Pedigree on Kane to almost win the titles, but Kevin Nash comes out and chases Triple H out of the arena with a sledgehammer. RVD and Kane finish off Flair, as if they could do that with Triple H around. Yeah, big victory my ass. Triple H had these 2 beat until Nash walked out.
Backstage, Nash trashes Triple H's limo with the sledgehammer and Triple H drives away. *Yawn*
Our next match is Scott Steiner/Test vs. Rico/Chris Nowinski. Boring or senseless match. Uh oh, Le Resistance make their debut and confront Steiner about his comments a few weeks ago. They jump Steiner and I find myself studying for a test more than watching RAW right now. The exam is tomorrow (Tuesday), so it's understandable, but still, this show is hard to watch.
Good backstage segment between Booker T and Bill Goldberg. I don't know where this sympathetic play for Goldberg is going to go, but at least the WWE has the guts to finally address something like this.
Booker T vs. Christian is up next. I don't like the new mix on Christian's music... If it's not broke, why fix it? Can any WWE match on RAW have any excitement in it, whatsoever? I mean seriously, all night long we've been seeing resthold after resthold, while punch and kick offense when the restholds aren't being used. I understand that last night was a Pay Per View, but this is what RAW is like everynight. It just seems as though nobody is allowed, especially in the midcard, to tear down the house with an exciting match. It's like they were told to go out there and dog it... Another spinebuster, this time by Booker T! That's 3 tonight, brotha. 3 Minute Warning attacks Booker T, and then Bill Goldberg makes the save. Goldberg jackhammers one of the fat Samoans... Very nice. Nice spear through the barrier on the other fat Samoan. I like this pairing of Booker T and Bill Goldberg, as who knows, you could slowly assemble a WCW stable, especially with Sting arriving in June.
Trish Stratus vs. Eric Bischoff is the main event? The match is now a NO DQ match. That Trish kick barely caught Bischoff's head. Victoria runs down and attacks Trish since it's NO DQ. However, Jazz runs down and starts pounding on Trish. Bischoff taunts Trish after Trish was wasted by Jazz. Bischoff makes the pin, so he's going to get some! A black limo pulls up and MONOTONE Linda McMahon arrives. Gotta love the ZERO build up of this. We head to commercial, as well...
We're back and Linda is in the ring, representing the WWE board of directors. She calls out Eric Bischoff, and he actually hits on Linda. Sicko... Eric's actions over the past month have put Bischoff in deep shite tonight. There's a compromise from the board, meaning there will be co-General Managers on RAW now. It's Steve Austin, which is predicted. Austin has been in that position before and has feuded with a "boss" of a company many times, so this won't set the wrestling world on fire, only the WWE, going down in flames. After lots of Austin repetitive catch phrases, and Austin then hits the Stunner. Yay, how 1998 of him.
LAST WORD: Ups and downs for this show, more downs though. I actually liked the Goldberg stuff, while I didn't care for the rest of the show. The show was weaker without the Rock, in my opinion, and it could only get worse unless some life is pumped into this show, somehow. I'll give it a [ C- ] (C Minus).
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