Welcome to the newest edition of the Wrath of Tito. It's been a week since I've written a column here, in any form. I assure you that the newest edition of FACT or FICTION will be up sometime in the near future. Time constraints has effected the publishing of that column, but it should be up within the next day or two. I would have had this column up earlier, BUT something came up yesterday that didn't put me in the mood to write while the show was going on. A day later, here we are.
I caught WWE Confidential over the weekend, wanting to see what kind of tribute the WWE was going to produce regarding Miss Elizabeth. Well, I figured it would be less about her death and more about her life, but we were given half and half. First, they had a nice tribute regarding her career, with lots of career highlights and several personalities talking. That's fine. But it was comments from Vince McMahon and the 2nd part of the Miss Elizabeth stuff that was very, very disturbing and insulting.
I didn't care for Vince McMahon's comments regarding Elizabeth and Lex Luger, along with the 2nd segment painting a purposely bad picture for Luger. Vince talked about the "family atmosphere" in the WWF, while in WCW, it wasn't like that and pretty much led to her destruction. Huh? In the WWF, she was under watchful eye of Randy Savage, while in WCW, she had a much easier schedule, making more money, and was free from any stressful marriages. Hardly a family atmosphere McMahon talked about, especially when Vince didn't create one on his own, being cheap with his wrestlers and going to trial in the early 1990's for steroid distribution to wrestlers, which is what Luger was getting bashed for. Even worse, the show had a match with the British Bulldog in it, and Confidential did a 2 segment personal tribute of his wrestling career, hardly any controversy, and I'll have you know that the Bulldog was fired from the WWE around 1992 for being involved in steroid distribution, which is what the WWE was badmouthing Luger for.
I didn't care to hear the 911 calls from Luger. Ok, it's public domain for anyone to get, but what business did the WWE have in getting them and using them on their shows? Luger has been gone from the WWE since 1995, over 7 years ago, so what is the need to bash him? I thought Vince McMahon got his so-called revenge on Luger for jumping to WCW in 1995, showing up on the first ever Nitro, by destroying Luger on the final Nitro/WWF buys WCW edition of RAW? But this was tasteless, as the segment pointed to bashing Luger instead of aiming towards an actual cause of Elizabeth's death. They sort of made it seem that Luger's problems caused Elizabeth's death, while you can believe that a stressful boyfriend could lead you to trouble, it wouldn't exactly mean that Luger killed her or anything.
Just tasteless. And even worse, the WWE is going to do another piece on Elizabeth's death on the next Confidential, and I guarantee you that these pieces will make the "Best of Confidential 2" DVD, for sure.
I really enjoyed Bret Hart's recent column regarding the backstage incident between Bill Goldberg and Chris Jericho. For one, it put an end to the speculation that it wasn't a heated incident, thinking it was just an internet rumor that the two got into a small fight. HA! Bret destroyed Bill Goldberg, talking about how careless Goldberg can be in the ring, citing the concussion that put Bret out. Here's what Bret said about the Chris Jericho-Bill Goldberg confrontation:
"As I understand it, Jericho approached Goldberg in the dressing room and asked him politely if he'd come out in the hallway where they could talk in private.
Heads turned when Bill suddenly broke into character, bizarrely growling like he does on TV.
Goldberg suddenly gripped Jericho by the throat in a furious rage. The little scrappy Calgarian, who is nowhere near Goldberg's size, nonchalantly wrestled him to the floor, clamping on a front face lock, which is every shooter's last resort and is comparable to having a bear trap clamped on your head."
That's awesome, folks. Bret would go on to say that Jericho once trained in his father Stu's dungeon, where they'd learn such holds if attacked. You can read Bret's column by CLICKING HERE. I'd make it a point to read all of Bret's columns, if I were you. He's one of the few in the business to be totally honest and to still have some morals and integrity when it comes to professional wrestling. Have you seen him come back to the WWE yet? No, you haven't. Sure, he's been tempted, many times. The only thing the WWE has held against him was the video and picture archives he seeks for future documentaries and for his upcoming book. Bret, however, was recently given access to that by the WWE, ending years of promises by Vince McMahon. In reality, Bret has no reason to return to the WWE for anything, and I doubt he would have anyway, even if he wasn't offered access to his video or picture WWF library. He's one you just have to respect for always sticking up for himself and having the guts to stare hypocrites, bastards, or liars in the face, such as Vince Russo, Vince McMahon, or others, and telling it like it is or should be sometimes, while many other individuals remain quiet.
So we have a new Pay Per View this week, eh? Judgment Day... well folks, it could be the WWE's Judgment Day, given that they will have terrible problems selling this show to wrestling fans. It's going to be an absolute thrill to hear the commentators announcing louder than the crowd is cheering during the Nash vs. Triple H match, while the Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar match won't be anything to be joyous about, either. The Guerreros vs. Team Angle is the only match I'm truly looking foward to, but you know it will get shortchanged on time, because heaven forbid that midcarders steal the show and heaven forbid that shitty matches, such as the World Title matches, have that extra time for entrances and bad wrestling.
Nothing like a Women's 4 way for the Women's title at Judgment Day, either. Seriously, is there ANYTHING in this world that the WWE could do to make that division even remotely interesting? My theory is that the WWE is stalling as much as possible for Lita to return and challenge Jazz for the title. Whatever. The Bikini contest could be an eye opener, given that both were Playboy centerfolds, but we've seen many contests involving them before and there are many places to go online if you want to see them in a bikini or less to want to really see this. The Intercontinental Battle Royal could be good, but I wish the WWE would have ripped off the NWA-TNA X title mini-tournament style to determine the champion. I can't remember the exact rules of that one, but it was a very fun match to get into and made the title very worthy from the start.
But the real problem is the wrestlers getting left out of the show. Bill Goldberg, Rey Mysterio, and Matt Hardy are being officially left off the card, for whatever reason. Aren't you paying Bill Goldberg top money to BE on Pay Per Views?!? Rey Mysterio is one of you more exciting wrestlers to watch, although he's "selling the injury", and Matt Hardy is your Cruiserweight champion, who was left off of your last Pay Per View. I've heard rumors that the WWE will run a FBI/John Cena vs. Brian Kendrick/Chris Benoit/Rhyno from 1wrestling, so that's the way Chris Benoit, one of your best workers in the company, gets on this Pay Per View after being left off the last one.
The WWE seriously needs to look at their talent rosters and seriously see who is over and who isn't, and who can work a good match and who can't. If they did this, people like Kevin Nash, Big Show, most of the women, and others would be in trouble, but they are well protected in the terribly creative WWE, which is losing business by the MONTH now. Crowds are getting embarrassing, the buyrates are shrinking, and so much more! The WWE needs to get their priorities straight or they'll ruin wrestling for everybody in the United States, because you could see that at the rate the WWE is going, there might be an absence of professional wrestling on cable TV for the first time since the 1980's or whenever it started(I'm too young to remember).
On the book front, I saw Freddy(or Freddie) Blassie's book at my local bookstore, and I pondered getting it. I decided against it, given that I'm behind on my wrestling readings. I have Jerry Lawler and the Hardy Boys books sitting on my bookshelf. My school work has picked up over the past few weeks with midterms and projects, insomuch that I no time to want to sit down and read a book. I'm also burned out on reading wrestling books lately, as the last 3 books I've read have been wrestling books. Nothing against that, but watching over 4 hours of wrestling programming every week and writing about them about twice a week burns you out, especially when the WWE isn't as exciting as it should be, here in 2003. I like to read other kinds of books, in fact, I picked up Stephen King's Dreamcatcher over the weekend, given that I was one of the few that actually enjoyed the movie (I LOVE stuff about UFO's!), and am intrigued to read the book afterward. I'll read the Hardys and Lawler books eventually, but not right now or not when the product has been not too thrilling lately to give me motivation.
I probably wrote a column in itself right here, and I still have to review RAW.
Then, Hawk and Animal wrestled and the show went downhill from here! Seriously! The first match of the night was Legion of Doom (LOD or OLD, depending on who you ask) versus RVD/Kane. The Legion of Doom are a total shell of themselves, as you'd hope they'd be at their age. Ignoring that they are old, they are both in bad shape. Muscle tone? What's that? Both had large guts and moved very slowly in the ring. I mean, Animal could barely lift his leg for the kicks he tried. A complete embarrassment on their part, and what the hell was the WWE thinking to bring them in? I'm amazed, too, because the WWE and Hawk have NEVER been able to get along, but in the era where burned bridges no longer mean anything, here we are with the Legion of Doom, completely showing their age and wasting our time. At least RVD/Kane beat them kinda quickly, but still. I do feel bad, as Hawk and Animal have to keep wrestling to put food on the table since they probably don't have much of a retirement plan, but this match was just awful.
Gotta love Triple H backstage segments with other wrestlers. This week, he was talking to Chris Jericho, mentioning how Jericho went to the heights of greatness after Triple H ripped his quad. Yeah, that suggests that Jericho wouldn't have done it if Triple H was around, and proof of that thinking goes further when you consider it was Triple H who derailed Jericho at Wrestlemania 18 and afterward. And people wonder why I dislike Triple H lately.......
Oh no! Who drove the car that hit Goldberg's limo? SMELL THE RATINGS! Who the fuck cares about a "who-done-it" angle anymore?
I have no problem with Steve Austin naming Booker T into the Intercontinental Title tournament. Booker T was a former United States champion in WCW, the WCW equivalent to the IC title. It makes sense to me, especially when the IC and US titles were merged together as one. You just know, though, that the WWE will foolishly push a goof like Rodney Mack to that title, which would be the equivalent of Albert, Chyna, or the Godfather holding the IC title at one time. Joy.
ZZZZZZZZZZZ at the White Boy challenge. If you have a segment that bombs each week, then why keep trying it? Rodney Mack is NOT over as a wrestler, no matter how many racial overtones are used by Teddy Long or this angle. It's ridiculous to keep trying this bullshit.
Freddy Blassie comes out in a wheelchair to promote his book, which I don't know how well it will sell with today's wrestling generation. Even if you started watching in the 1980's via the Hulk Hogan generation, you'd barely know who he is. Poor guy looks to be in bad shape, now confined to a wheelchair and really showing the effects of aging. At least he's a wrestling personality that has lived past the age of 50, which you can't say for a lot of the wrestlers/managers these days, sadly enough. 3 Minute Warning and Rico were about to attack Blassie, thanks to evil Eric Bischoff, but Steve Austin saved the day and brings back the Dudley Boys to attack 3MW. Dudleys are back as a face team, an act we haven't seen a million times. I'll laugh if Dudleys vs. 3MW is added to the Judgment Day card.
The next bout was Bill Goldberg vs. Christian in the cage. Not a bad match, although I hate the confusion caused by WWE's cage match rules anymore. Pin or leave the cage? Make up your mind, WWE! A good creative team would hammer out details of matches and storylines to stop such problems and present a better product. But noooooo. At least this is a feud that has happened over time, and the build up to this match was decent. I'm not sold, though, that Bill Goldberg can work a match past 10 minutes, as this one was a shade under 10. Big Pay Per View draw matches go over 10, by the way, and Goldberg, unless he gets more in ring training, isn't going to help you in that department unless you have a total carry job by another wrestler, which Sting and DDP were kings of. Still, this was at least watchable, and Goldberg won the match. What's next for Goldberg?
Backstage, Ric Flair and Steve Austin are talking, and suddenly the Hurricane interrupts to rag on Flair. This creates an impromptu match between Hurricane and Ric Flair. Sadly, Flair, over 50, can work a match better than most of the RAW roster these days. Flair actually won the match, too, and beats the Hurricane cleanly with the Figure 4! What is going on? So much for that Hurricane push, as that point is driven home once Triple H comes to the ring and attacks the Hurricane. Learn your spot, boy! So much for that rub the Rock gave him, as Triple H has personally taken it upon himself to take a dump on the Hurricane. That's Triple H for you, paranoid of any upcoming wrestler or anything the Rock does.
Next match was Scott Steiner/Test/Goldust vs. Le Resistance/Christopher Nowinski. The king of all misused wrestlers is in this match. Poor Goldust. His character was very much over last year, despite the many attempt to keep the thumb on his attempts to move up the ladder, so to speak. Sloppy 6 man match, as one team had a decent worker, while the other team lacks experience in the ring. I couldn't get into this match, whatsoever. Steiner/Test/Goldust win, as I say "so what" to the Le Resistance vs. Steiner/Test match at Judgment Day.
Trish vs. Victoria in a hardcore match was up next. This was one of the better Women's bouts, I must admit. They had good in ring chemistry and the hardcore stuff added an extra spark to it, which woke up the crowd after the torture endured from the 6 man match beforehand. Victoria hits some weird moves, such as that thing she inverted into a sidewalk slam. I was fine with this match.
Our final match of the evening was Kevin Nash vs. Chris Jericho. Kevin Nash is STILL not over with the crowds as a face. You might as well turn him heel and let him be a flunky for someone, maybe a bodyguard. The WWE limits the amount of matches he wrestles anyway, so quit wasting our time with the possibility that Nash will win the RAW championship this Sunday. I'd rather have Triple H remain champion than this, even if we'll have to suffer through Triple H personally sabotaging Bill Goldberg for the next Pay Per View. Nash will just be *that* bad as champion, especially with the low crowd responses he's received everywhere he goes, including his return. This match was nothing but Chris Jericho bumping everywhere for Nash, and ended with some run-ins by Clique members. I'm sure it got everyone "wet" with excitement for this Sunday's match up between HHH and Nash.
LAST WORD: Not a very good show on RAW's part to hype a Pay Per View. Nothing spectacular from the ring tonight, and that's been commonplace from RAW anyway, but I'm growing tired of having terrible feuds shoved down my throat. I do, however, like Steve Austin as co-General Manager, for whatever reason. He has that slight edge to his character that he started last week that has caught my interest. The RAW brand has nothing to offer you this weekend at Judgment Day, so pray to your Gods that the Smackdown roster can at least whip out one good match. This show gets a [ C ] in my gradebook. The Women's match was good, Austin's GM stuff is cool, and the Goldberg vs. Christian match was watchable. Other than that, meh.
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@That's all for today. Let's pray that Smackdown can spark an interest in buy this week's Pay Per View.... but I doubt it. Thanks for reading.