Welcome to the "I feel terrible" edition of the Wrath of Tito. I'm coming to you fresh off of a hernia repair surgery from Monday and I feel like a ton of bricks have fallen on me. It was a chore to get to the computer today and I'll type this column as quick as I humanly can. I DID watch Summerslam on Sunday night. I was too tired Sunday night to write a column for everyone, BUT I did write my thoughts on the event in the "Feedback" section of LoPForums.com:
Randy Orton is the new WWE champion... sigh. Fine, if you're going to give him the title, they should have waited another event or two instead of making Orton the #1 contender a few weeks ago and making an insta-feud with Benoit, the champion for the majority of the year. I thought Orton vs. Benoit was a BAD match, as I'll still insist that Randy Orton can't work a good match. Orton led this match on calls and it definitely showed. In my opinion, Orton is NOT ready to be World Champion.
Triple H vs. Eugene was disappointing... Too much downtime in the match and the Toronto crowd didn't seem to be into Eugene very much. I don't like when Eugene just runs around with his tongue out. Yeah, he's playing a retarded character, but it created a lot of downtime in the match. The ending is interesting, though, as Regal distracted Eugene to allow HHH to win the match!
I liked the Six Man between Kidman/London/Mysterio vs. Dudleys. Good six man action, which was short on time... but it had some nice spots and a good, clean ending with the Dudleys winning with the 3D.
The Dodgeball game was soooo poorly booked. Victoria looks like Chyna in comparison to the other tiny females. The Diva Contestants won, as the WWE Divas were clearly dogging (although the blonde contestant had a cannon for an arm, ask Gail Kim who took a ball to the face!).
I wasn't much for Jericho vs. Edge vs. Batista. Too short for a match of this importance. Same goes for Booker T vs. John Cena. It just didn't have much of a spark to it. Maybe by the 5th match, it could be good?
I actually enjoyed Matt Hardy vs. Kane. They seemed to go at each other pretty hard and Version 1 seemed to be a bit more aggressive in the ring. The top rope Chokeslam was DEVASTATING!!!! Nice finish that got an ohhhh from the crowd.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle featured some great mat work, but it's not a match that many modern fans would like. Angle wrestled it well, attacking Guerrero's ankle ALL match and untied Guerrero's boot to allow for the barefoot finish of Angle's anklelock submission on Guerrero. The Toronto fans were VERY anti-Eddie. Poor Eddie. Good match, none the less.
I'll give this show a C+ (C Plus) because some of the midcard was nice, but the double main event was a letdown, among other things. Better luck next duel event, I suppose. Orton and JBL as the champions? Ouch. I'm not convinced Orton will bring extra business as champion, in addition to being a weak performer at the moment (but he could get better in time).
-I actually watched ALL of Smackdown, but I completely forgot what happened at that show. *Pulls up Smackdown results* Ah, here we go... Orlando Jordan is JBL's "chief of staff". Yes, that's another word for "Virgil". In fact, my props to the Toronto crowd at Summerslam for chanting that during JBL vs. Undertaker. I really liked Teddy Long as General Manager. He's already better than Kurt Angle and I'm sure he'll help give Smackdown a good appeal to more urban viewers. I thought the "Summer Games Relay Match" was stretching things, as I didn't quite get the format and it just went on for too long. It was a decent idea to honor the Olympics in theory, but it just didn't work out well. SHORT matches otherwise with lame Undertaker vs. JBL hype to give this show a C. Better luck next week.
-I didn't catch NWA-TNA on FOX once again... Look, 3pm in the afternoon on a Friday is a bad time for me. However, now that I have a few weeks off from work, I'll TRY to check it out. That way, I can get my boy Villiano off of my back to actually watch NWA-TNA more often.
-Pro Wrestling Insider reports that Edge and the Undertaker were quite upset at the Toronto crowd on Sunday night. While they have every right to be upset with any crowd, they both need to look into the mirror and realize that time has passed both of them by. Edge was hurt from taking one year off. Trends and fads have passed him right by and his character just seems to be out of touch with the current wrestling climate. Outside of what I consider stale promos, he's essentially done nothing wrong. He just simply needs to tweek his character... and a probably heel turn might help (reuniting him with Christian to both join Evolution would work for me). With the Undertaker... his return as the "Deadman" has been an ultimate failure from the second he started wrestling at Wrestlemania 20. I was just fine with the biker version of the Undertaker, as he didn't have to walk slow and he actually started performing well with whomever (I liked the Undertaker's work since his Flair feud in 2002). Bradshaw is just like Randy Orton in that he's just not ready to be World Champion YET. Bradshaw needs some more time to build up his new character and to tweek his wrestling moveset, and I'd have no problem with Bradshaw as champion. Undertaker was fighting a champion who was not ready for the title spotlight yet, so hence the Toronto crowd didn't give a damn about the match. Seeing the wave performed and "we want tables" chant was hilarious!
-Matt Hardy seems to be in hot water with the WWE, as they quickly ripped away his column that gave his opinion on the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) and the announcement of some time off for knee repair. Why should he be in hot water, for the WWE media department had to have read his column before it was posted. Isn't Shane McMahon the head of the media department? The WWE was probably more mad at the column getting released because of the injury announcement, for it served as a "spoiler" of the Kane vs. Matt Hardy match at Summerslam. Seriously, who didn't predict Kane as the winner of that match? The WWE needs to stop having a cow over the spoken word before they fire their entire roster...
-Speaking of firings, so long Sable... the very same day Sable was released, I speculated whether her comments in a newspaper would get her released, ala Roddy Piper's HBO comments which released him. The WWE has instantly put up a smokescreen, insisting that her firing comes about from her need to work a lighter schedule. Yeah, and those newspaper comments AND Brock's recent wrestling bashing had NOTHING to do with it? I'd say the firing is more of a message towards Brock than it is towards Sable, for the WWE is still bitter for Brock leaving at Wrestlemania 20 and not doing the jobbing program to the Undertaker. Sable, mind you, is one of the three divas in WWE history to pose for Playboy (Torrie and Chyna are the others) and Sable posed in a recent edition with Torrie Wilson. She has more merit than most of the current WWE divas, with the exception of her age (which I think she still looks great). Then again, the WWE hasn't really used her in a creative way on television, but that doesn't matter, for it's her body that sells calendars, posters, and Playboy issues.
Alright, I'll probably have to lay down soon, so on to the RAW section!
First match of the night was Rhyno vs. Sylvain Grenier. If Rhyno won, he would earn a tag title shot with Tajiri at Unforgiven. If Rhyno lost, no tag title shots to be offered ever again, from what I understood. I think I fast fowarded through some of Lillian Garcia's speech. Probably the best work I've seen from Grenier in a long time, as he had some good chemistry with Rhyno. Good opening match, as this feud seems to be working and Rhyno/Tajiri are over as faces, surprisingly. I guess everyone can cheer for an ECW team? GREAT ending with Tajiri applying the mist to Grenier and that led to a GOAR! The crowd erupted after this win, as if it meant something. Good stuff so far on RAW...
Next, we were presented with an invitation of Kane and Lita's wedding, which will be held next week on RAW. Damn, the WWE is moving quickly on storylines tonight (like jumping the gun on the Evolution turn on Orton). My guess is that Matt Hardy will try to interrupt the wedding, only to get his ass kicked to explain why he'll be out of action for a few months.
I LOVED the backstage segment with Lita and the HEEL Divas (Trish, Gail Kim, Molly, and Jazz). Hilarious segment and hilarious gifts that had me laughing so hard that it hurt (damn hernia!). The pack of women played bitches so well, only for Lita to walk away in shame. As Trish tried to tell her that "it was only a joke", Victoria was waiting outside for a slap.
Pretty solid match between Victoria and Gail Kim was up next, in a match that featured more athletic moves that only women could do or should do. Victoria and Gail oddly have some good chemistry, outside of the botched flying bodypress in this match (the only flaw). The crowd was into the match, too, showing that I'm not just a crazed idiot on pain medication after a surgery was performed. Nice ending with the set up of the Widow's peak. Afterward, Trish and Tyson Tomko attacked only for Steven Richards to attack in drag. I thought the WWE dropped that storyline a few times already? This week, it wasn't easy to spot who it was due to the bigger whig given to Stevie, but we all know who it is... (as did the Canadian crowd)
Next, it was Kane vs. Edge. This IC title shot was one of Kane's wedding gifts from Eric Bischoff. Too bad it wasn't a gift for the fans, for this match just didn't have much to offer. I don't know, I just wasn't into this match and it seemed to go on forever. Kane gained the upperhand, even with Lita's distraction, and was about to hit the Chokeslam on Edge before Matt Hardy hit the Twist of Fate (by the way, the ref was bumped) to allow Edge to win the match.
Backstage, it was Diva Search time as the Coach asked the ladies who they thought should be deleted from the competition. All of the ladies said "Carmella", as it appears that the rigged winner will be pushed as a heel once she wins the contest. Actually, the one with the rocket-arm from Dodgeball (already forgot her name) was booted off the competition. While it was probably one of the more interesting bits of the competition, it still sucked other than watching 6 hot females (I'm not very attracted to the Tracy diva... can you say breast implants?).
Next match was Chris Jericho vs. Batista. Back and forth offense here until Ric Flair interfered to make it a disqualification. They should have given the long time handed to Edge vs. Kane to this match instead. Speaking of that match, Edge would run down to his music and almost help Jericho, only to decide not to. Is Edge slowly becoming an Evolution member? FIND OUT NEXT WEEK!
The Diva Search contestants are wheeled out once again, as they shake their asses in bikinis in hopes that people will actually vote for this contest. If only the WWE revealed the actual amount of votes for this contest... it would be a big laugh!
Backstage, Triple H talked to Randy Orton about his match, saying the title should mean everything to him. HHH cited that Flair was 31 before his first title win and Batista would give anything to become champion. Too bad HHH didn't say he gave sperm to Stephanie to become champion, himself, whenever he wants. HA! I would have deleted this segment, for it soooo spelled out a heel turn against Orton. Then again, the WWE rushed the heel turn, so who cares?
A BIGTIME IMPROVEMENT of a match between Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton in the main event. Awesome match, in fact, as the Summerslam match featured Randy Orton leading the match and working his style exclusively, while Benoit could only get flashy once when he dove outside the ring. But this match, however, was one of RAW's best matches for 2004. It started off with an aggressive Chris Benoit, pounding on Orton who said he was sore from Summerslam earlier (and Lawler also pressed on that Orton may have had a few drinks or two as celebration for the night before). It was freakin' awesome to see a very focused Benoit dominate early on, showing how pissed off he was about the loss the previous night. Nice dropkick off of the apron by Benoit and Benoit went to work on the knee, drilling Orton's knee into the stairs. Back from commercial, Orton was in the sharpshooter. Orton finally got on the offensive side and worked on the NECK, while limping to each move to sell the leg injury. NICE. Orton pounded on Benoit's neck forever, even hitting an interesting neckbreaker out of a gutwrench. Benoit got back on offense, hit the flying headbutt (which Benoit could have sold more, since Orton worked on his neck), and then drilled Orton with 3 Germans before faking the 4th into a crossface. Very nice... Orton was "dead already" as the late Scotty from Star Trek said in the Wrath of Khan, but Evolution ran down to provide a distraction. This caused Benoit to break the hold and for Orton to sneak in a RKO for the victory. Bad ending to what was an excellent match, easily Randy Orton's best match to date, in my opinion. Afterward, Evolution celebrated with Orton, with hugs everywhere! Batista put Orton on his shoulders and HHH then gave him a thumbs down. Uh oh. My VHS tape actually cut off at that point and I assume a massive beatdown happened thereafter.
LAST WORD: Great RAW after a Pay Per View, with just a few bad spots (Divas Search, Edge vs. Kane, and Jericho vs. Batista). Otherwise, a strong showing from the RAW roster and a strong main event in addition to the other good stuff. I'll go [ A ] for this week's show and hope for smooth sailing for Randy Orton as champion and now a face. I would have extended his feud with Benoit through Unforgiven, with Benoit as champion, but whatever. I hope Orton proves me wrong as to my claim that he's not ready to be champion (or a face). But anyway, great show and it's not the pain killers spiking my opinion.
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