Another WRATH of TITO is upon you. My column writing for the past 2 weeks is limited due to finals and projects I have to work on, but I should wrap everything up by this Thursday or Friday. It's just a total burn out week for me, but I'll try to hammer out a column. Writing is like therapy, but I wrote 10 pages of a paper earlier today....
Yet another week of dry wrestling news. That WWE monopoly sure isn't giving us anything interesting to talk about. Maybe everyone is going through the motions instead of creating conflicts backstage? It definitely looks it. I mean, hey, why even try when no matter how hard you work, there's always Triple H laughing at you and pissing on your wrestling grave. And just think, when Vince McMahon finally decides to leave the wrestling business (he'll do it till he dies, I swear), take a guess who will take over the company. Do you honestly think that Shane McMahon will become the next boss? Yeah right. He's not aggressive enough, nor does he have the craving for power that Stephanie McMahon and Triple H have. They GET OFF on the position of power, and you can clearly see that now by the kinds of shows they are putting on.
Further proof of that could occur this Sunday at Bad Blood. If Kevin Nash wins, it goes to show you that Triple H and the McMahons are on a power trip, doing whatever they want. The FANS do NOT want Kevin Nash as World Champion, nor do they actually want him on their television sets. This match was so pitiful and heatless that the WWE had to make it a Hell in the Cell match and actually bring back Mick Foley to referee it. If that's not putting extra icing on a stale cake, I don't know what is?!?
I don't see what the fuss is about the New York State Athletic Commission wanting wrestling promoters to perform drug testing on their wrestlers. This is ridiculous, and do you want to know why? After the Steroid trials of 1994 in which Vince McMahon ALMOST went to jail for the distribution of steroids to his wrestlers, wasn't the WWE going to enforce strict policies within their own organization for steroid testing? I believe so, and Vince McMahon said so in several interviews. However, the WWE has clearly relaxed the so-called testing, given that many of their wrestlers come out with pimples all over their back and muscles packed in places where there shouldn't be muscles. But oh no, the New York State Athletic Commission wants drug testing for ONCE A YEAR on wrestling promotions who visit their state more than 6 times a year. Once a freakin' year. Just find out when the "surprise testing" is going to happen and just lay off the drugs, roids, and other things for several months. No big deal whatsoever, but it would be nice if some of the wrestlers could get off the juice, despite the heavy pressures of Vince McMahon to obtain a certain look.
I only caught parts of Smackdown this week. I had my VCR timer set to tape the show and I was in the mood to write a column on Friday morning, but d'oh, I forgot to put a blank tape into the VCR. Double dumbass on me! I missed my hero's return (Kurt Angle) and Rey Mysterio vs. Matt Hardy. Damn it. I did happen to catch Torrie Wilson/Rikishi vs. Jamie Noble/Nidia, and you know what, it was more fun to watch than any mixed tag match that RAW has put on. Why? Because it was purposely entertaining, and not put out there to be taken seriously like the WWE's women's division on RAW. The competition between Jazz, Victoria, and Trish acts too intense, and you know what, not too much woman like, as they try to pursue their matches like men. All of the RAW women's matches are so friggin' boring, but terrible wrestling by Torrie and Nidia is somehow more entertaining than that? This shouldn't happen.
There really isn't much going on in the wrestling world, so I'll go off topic with some random rants. First of all, I bought Metallica's "St. Anger" album last Wednesday, as I bought it earlier than the release date, thanks to my good pals at Haffa Records. Since our last encounter, I didn't like the St. Anger song... however, it grew on me. It's not bad, and probably better than most of the songs on the Reload album. Doesn't take much... I'll say that "Frantic" is probably my most favorite Metallica song since the Black Album, and maybe even surpassing that material. It's damn good and probably the song I'd release if I was Metallica, but then again, my name is not Lars and I'm not able to showcase my drumming...
The album as a whole is decent at best, though. The big problem with the St. Anger is the heavy emphasis on drumming, namely the kind of drumming that sounds like you're pounding on a steel garbage can. This is on EVERY song, as I find myself begging for a bigger emphasis on guitars, which was the case of other albums, and they sounded fine. The drumming is just out there and in your face, taking away from the songs for sure. That's my biggest criticism of Metallica. HOWEVER, this album is different because they tried to get back to their old style of music, the longer songs with more solos and getting away from the catchy style that started on the Black album. That I respect. Now is it like their first 4 albums? No. Metallica can NEVER return to that. Back in the 1980's, they were young, aggressive, and hungry to make an impact on the rock industry. Here we are, more than 15 years later... There are only a few musical acts that can capture the magic that they once did.
Overall, I'll admit that I'm satisfied with my purchase. It gives me some new Metallica to listen to, as I'm a loyal fan. I have and listen to all of their albums on a regular basis, and I paid money to buy their album before hearing the majority of the songs. I think Frantic is a really good song, and it makes me happy to see that Metallica can at least produce something for me to enjoy. I'll probably keep listening to the new album, because I do have a feeling the CD will grow on me.
I have gone DVD CRAZY lately~! Isn't it funny that about a year ago, I was lecturing everyone on how I wouldn't get into DVD technology due to how expensive it was? Well, here we are a year later, and the technology is much cheaper. New releases of DVD's are around the prices of new CD's now, while you can get a good DVD player for under $100, easily. I love it. What I love are the special features on the DVD's, given that I really enjoy behind the scenes stuff. I'm a documentary buff, and whenever DVD's are loaded with special features, I'm there brother! I'm especially loving the re-releases of the Star Trek movie series, as they are freakin' loaded with material!
I would highly recommend the Wrestlemania 19 DVD. This is the first out of 19 Wrestlemanias that I purchased on DVD, as the rest of them are on VHS. I must say, I'm very impressed. It's double disc, with all of the matches in great video quality, and it's LOADED with features on Wrestlemania, behind the scenes stuff, and a lot of wrestler point of views. Highly recommended!
I bought the Animatrix DVD as well. Now, if you love the Matrix movies, this is for you. It's a DVD collection of 9 cartoon shorts of things regarding the Matrix. For instance, there was a cartoon archive documentary on how man and machine fought each other in a war, which lead to the creation of the Matrix, while you had a cartoon regarding the kid that Neo saved, the kid seen in Matrix 2 that begs Neo to take him along for the next trip on his ship. Good stuff, although extremely freakin' violent.
I also bought the Terminator 2 Special Edition DVD as well. Another good pick up. They added several extra scenes to the movie, including this cool dream sequence with Sarah Connor and Reese (the hero from Terminator 1), among others. Good behind the scenes stuff as well. While I'm at it, look for the special edition of the first Terminator DVD as well, which has deleted scenes, great interviews, and more. Worth looking for. By watching the deleted or added scenes in each movie, you can see how great of a director and writer James Cameron is for his movies. Truly a great mind in Hollywood.
And finally, good ol' Sammy Sosa. My theory is that he KNEW the bat was corked. Why? Get this. If you're going to cork a bat, you'll cork just ONE bat. No way in hell you are going to cork more than one bat, because say if a corked one exploded in your hands, you could get in even more trouble if they found more in your bag. Duh. He knew damn well it was corked, as I'm sure he saw the top of his bat at one point or another to see the drilling for the cork. Look, Sammy was coming off an injury and in a slump. He needed an extra edge, and he took a risk. That's it. Do I think his bat was corked before this? No. I was at a Pirates game in PNC park when he destroyed the ball out of the park, which I believe is the park's record for distance. Desparate times call for desparate measures, and Sammy tried to cheat his way out of the slump and bad season he was having. The 8 game suspension is just, and I wonder how you can appeal it when you admit to owning the corked bat.
Oh yeah, congrats to the New Jersey Devils, the 2002-2003 Stanley Cup Champions. Congrats to the biggest NJ Devils fan, Al Birdy, too.
Ok, that's enough off topic stuff in a WRESTLING column. Just had to get it all off my chest, since writing can be therapy...
Show starts off with Bill Goldberg vs. Rosie of 3 Minute Warning... Chris Jericho comes out, steel chair in hand to "watch the match". Good stuff to start off RAW. I'm sure Goldberg is full of energy after getting the weekend off, whereas all of the other WWE superstars had to go to Europe. Goldberg had some terrible kicking offense that exposed Goldberg. Jericho tried to interfere, but failed. Chris Jericho has quite the carrying job to do at Bad Blood. Good Jackhammer on the very fat Rosie. Goldberg seems to be getting some good crowd reactions now, but is it enough to market him as the next big face in the WWE? Giving fives to the crowd can help...
Goofy WWE.com poll they have up, with names such as the Rock, Terry Funk, Mick Foley, Shane McMahon, or Steve Austin as the referee at Bad Blood.
OHHHHH!!! Gail Kim!!! Why don't we just start ripping off the Matrix already? Please. Give me a F'N break. Unless this lady is super talented, you won't get that movie rub no matter what you try.
Next match is Rene Dupree vs. Rob Van Dam. Dupree has a future in the WWE, and I saw that first hand in a dark match sometime in early November when he wrestled Chris Kanyon. The thing that hurts La Resistance is the fact that they aren't that over as heels. When they get into the ring, it's silent. Nice trademark RVD moves here, with the split legged moonsault and the legdrop on the railing. RVD has this crowd going. He seems to have a lot of energy for himself tonight. Nice leg-scissors takedown for the win by RVD. Sylvian comes down after the match for the heel beatdown, and Kane is no where to be found.
Gameboy Advance now has the original SNES Donkey Kong Country video game. Ah, good stuff right there. The water boards were so relaxing to play.
Eric Bischoff loves wheels... We have a wheel full of redneck games for Eric and Steve Austin at Bad Blood. The first contest will be a Pie Eating contest, and it's not your normal kind of pie. Poontang pie!
Highlights are shown of the very last appearance of Freddie Blassie on Monday Night RAW, telling the Dudleys to get the tables. We then get a nice promo on Blassie, where we had several personalities talking about Blassie. Good stuff by the WWE. They seem to go all out when the personalities are still under WWE contract.
Backstage, Rob Van Dam confronts Kane about what Steve Austin said to him last week.
Ivory/Trish Stratus vs. Victoria/Jazz was up next. Ivory seems to be really happy to be a face. I have to say that Victoria has a very thin waist, rather impressive. Holy Lou Thesz Press by Trish! Trish is on her game tonight. These ladies also seem to be full of energy. I don't see any cases of jet lag tonight. Triple double arm suplex? Color me impressed. Ivory is taking a whoopin! Very good dropkick by Jazz. Ivory pulls a fluke pin after getting worked on by Jazz, and that's your finish. Aside from the finish, this was the best WWE's women's match of 2003. They showed extra intensity and hit some good moves in this match. This is what I want to see out of this division, not the same old basic wrestling or sloppiness that usually occurs.
Backstage, Christian tells Jericho that he challenged Booker T to a Spinarooni contest! DEVASTATING!
Scott Steiner vs. Lance Storm is next. Honestly, can they do anything meaningful with Lance Storm? I love the stuff with Stacy walking back and forth through the ropes. Test joins us at the announcers' table. Test's voice is shot, which makes me wonder who came up with the idea to have him commentate. Dummies backstage..... Test comes down to take Stacy away, but fails fo far. Steiner wins with the Flatliner(looks like Kanyon might be getting released soon, eh?), and Test comes in and attacks Steiner. Test then says Stacy doesn't have to be his girlfriend because "this Sunday, I'm gonna make you my whore". Oh my gosh! Terrible line there! He then uses some domestic violence by hurting Stacy's arm,a nd then walks away. What a douche.
62% of the fans on the WWE.com poll think that the referee will be Mick Foley. Wow, way to give it away, guys. Steve Austin comes out and the Hell in the Cell is already down. Mick Foley is the referee, and I can see he's still in great shape, har har. This is a guy the WWE could use as a wrestler again. Foley cuts a promo about being the referee, and Triple H comes down. Oh boy, here we go with the egofuck. Triple H gives him the "I retired you" speech, but Foley yells at him and cuts a great promo on Triple H about keeping him down. Too many "asshole" chants by the Miami crowd, but at least they are chanting something for heat. Segment ends with Triple H threats about refereeing.
Ric Flair comes to the ring, whoooo, and introduces Randy Orton, who comes out to botched music, as they accidentally played Flair's music instead of Orton's intended music. Now that's funny. Good job Kevin Dunn. His opponent is the Hurricane, and he doesn't like the odds of 2 people down by the ring. So Hurricane gets Shawn Michaels. That works. I can't wait for Flair vs. Shawn Michaels! Back and forth stuff between Orton and Hurricane, until the Flair interferes. After some brawling on the outside from Flair and HBK, Randy Orton hits the DIAMOND CUTTER?!?!? to pin the Hurricane. He hits another Diamond Cutter for good measure afterward. What the hell did DDP and Kanyon do to the WWE lately to steal their finishers? More brawling between Flair and HBK after the match.
Backstage, Spike Dudley asks Mick Foley if he has anything to prove as referee in the Hell in the Cell match. Interesting...
Backstage, we see Triple H talking to Eric Bischoff, but we, the audience, can't hear it. Uh oh.
Spinarooni Contest time. I wonder if Mark Madden will ever go after the WWE for using that term, one he invented during WCW. His radio show in Pittsburgh, on ESPN 1250, is pretty good, I might add. Jerry Lawler is the host of this between Christian and Booker T. Funny stuff with Lawler doing the Kingarooni. Christian does it, and screws it up badly, but at least shows his charisma by dancing before and after it. Before Booker T can do his, Christian tries to attack him. Christian leaves and Booker does the Spinarooni. Good little segment, and it hypes Booker T vs. Christian well. Oh wait, it's not over. Christian then sneak attacks Booker T when he walks up the aisle.
Rodney Mack vs. D'Von Dudley is our next match. Where is the 5 minute challenge? I guess the reasoning for Nowinski backing Rodney Mack is due to "smarts", according to Teddy Long. Sigh. Teddy Long promises that Nowinski and Mack will be a tough tag team coming up. Hmmm... Slow and boring match we have here... Teddy Long goes to interfere and Nowinski gets the 3D. Rodney Mack recovers and hits the Blackout for the win. So exciting....
Backstage, Bill Goldberg tries to have an interview with Terri, but gets blasted with a chair by Chris Jericho. Goldberg gets up and has a pissed off smile on his face. Very nice...
Backstage, Steve Austin confronts Mick Foley about possibly being afraid to be the referee this Sunday.
Tobacco companies make $5 Billion per year, eh? I wonder how much tax revenue the government collects off of tobacco products.....
Triple H comes out and calls out Mick Foley to make his decision about refereeing the match at Bad Blood. He decides to referee it. What I like about Foley is that he sells his losses to Triple H, thus always putting over Triple H. Too bad Triple H can't mirror Foley. Foley then charges to the ring and starts fighting HHH. Foley takes a pretty nasty bump on the steps that were surrounded by cage. Triple H then KILLS Foley with a chairshot. OUCH, right to the side of the head. I love this 1, 2, 3 stuff, meaning that Triple H has to do more to him so that he'd be unable to count. DEVASTATING Pedigree on the chair! 1, 2, 3 again! Evolution comes down to the ring to attack Foley, and then Nash and Shawn Michaels make the save. Amazing how much the crowd can cheer for Kevin Nash after a hot segment with Mick Foley. Nice touch with Nash Jacknifing HHH and then pinning him with Foley counting. Good psychology for Foley as the referee.
LAST WORD: As far as Pay Per View hype goes, this show was top notch. The RAW Pay Per View hype was handled much better than the hype for other Pay Per Views this year. Can't say much about the matches, but you can't really expect good workrate on RAW anymore. Great storylines, bad wrestling, but the good storylines outweight the wrestling, so hence a [ B ] (B) grade. The Pay Per View was well marketed, so let's see if it delivers this summer.
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