Welcome to the Wrath of Tito, coming to you at a rare 2 days in a row! Maybe I should restart my streak? Anyway, today, we'll discuss Monday Night RAW, along with a list of topics. I just love how the usual criticism of my columns or myself as a wrestling fan keep coming up. I've been here at LordsofPain.net for almost 5 years now, and I see the same thing, over and over and over and over again. People question if I should still be a wrestling fan. I still write about it and I still watch it. If I wasn't a wrestling fan, why would I waste so much time doing both? Why? The ignorance of some people to question that astounds me.
And secondly, I'm tired of getting blamed for the negativity on the internet when it comes to wrestling. This column isn't force fed, nor does it brainwash anybody. The stuff I say are NOT in any way, shape, or form considered facts. I don't know where some people get off on saying I totally think I'm right on everything I say. That's wrong. I've said it a million times during my almost 5 year tenure. These are MY opinions. They are NOT facts. They are NOT your opinions, and they never will be because no two people think the same way. This isn't a news column, whatsoever.
Everyone says I'm too tough on the WWE. What? From the looks of it, the WWE has lost more fans in the last 3 years to prove my constant criticisms of stale main eventers (HHH, mainly) and a poor creative team. Want proof? The WWE ratings for RAW have dropped more than 2.0 points, meaning they've probably lost 3 million or more television viewers according to the Nielson ratings. Secondly, when do you hear that the WWE sells out an arena? Just every once and a while, and usually, they aren't true sellouts, for they have a section tarped off. How about the WWE stock? It started off at $16 or $17, but it now hovers around $8 to $10. How about the merchandise sales? They are all down and the video games aren't big sellers like they used to be. Same goes for their theme CDs, which have lost sales. How about Vince McMahon? His net worth in 2000 was roughly one billion, and now, he's lucky to be worth $300 to $400 million. I'm sure he's living nicely, but that's a lot of money lost. How about the last Quarterly earnings report? The WWE actually lost money instead of reporting profits. I could go on.
But all of these losses prove one thing: the WWE is on a downfall and they've lost many fans from 3 years ago. To say that I'm the only one disgusted with the WWE at times is unreal. At least I keep watching, hoping that it can get better. I feel it can easily improve, given the talent roster the WWE has right now. They just don't use it right, for on Summerslam, Haas/Benjamin, Mysterio/Kidman (I know Mysterio was on Heat), Matt Hardy, and John Cena were ALL kept off the show! But instead, all 4 McMahons made it on the show... ugh.
For someone who writes this column for free, I sure get a lot of shit and grief for doing so. I'm a wrestling fan, and I'll say it loudly. I don't do anything in a forced manner. I watch knowing that if someone with any kind of innovative writing takes over the show, it will be a blast to watch it. Instead, we have the McMahons as the creative bosses, the "yes" men or longtime WWE agents giving ideas (your Pattersons, Doans, and Briscos), along with a group of soap opera or sitcom writers who were so bad that they couldn't get jobs writing for soap opera or sitcoms. That's your writing crew, and they are driving fans away because they don't know how to be innovative with storylines and they don't give a fuck about what the fans want. I know that if some good writer lends a hand, it will be real fun again. But for now, only parts of the shows are fun, while the rest leave you scratching your head.
Enough of that... To be honest, I haven't had too much of a problem with the Undertaker in the past few months, other than the fact that he beat John Cena at Vengeance. But now, here comes the reported push for the Undertaker to go back into the Main Event. My assumption is that he'll feud with Brock Lesnar, which provided for a few good matches last year. I don't know if the WWE wants him to go after Kurt Angle at this point, since you know, they are both faces, and we all know how bad the Undertaker has been as a heel in recent times. I do admire that the Undertaker still has the drive to be at the top of the WWE. He's clearly getting up there in age, and for a taller individual, your body breaks down quicker as you get older. With that being said, can the Undertaker still compete on a good level up at the top? That's always been my beef with the Undertaker. If he's going to use his seniority and favoritism from Vince McMahon to be at the top, then perform at that level. All I ask.
I would LAUGH if the Ultimate Warrior returned to the WWE. I guess his name has been in some backstage gossip recently. I bet he'll return for say a Royal Rumble, but nothing long term. He's a goof, who has burned his bridge in the WWE so many times. I know the last time he was dismissed from the WWE, in 1996, was from no showing several houseshows in a row. In earlier times, he was either fired for disagreeing creatively with the WWE, for steroids, or just walking out of the WWE. I don't know, for writing a history on him at one time never gave me definite answers as to why he left the WWE in the early 1990's. But what is known is that the Warrior never left on good terms. I think the Warrior is doing OK in his new role as a speaker. He seems to be travelling around the nation, speaking to students about life, politics, and other things in general. Hell, he was even on C-Span at one time. I still hear he makes up his own words while talking, showing me that he hasn't lost his touch.
Not much else to discuss in the wrestling world that I didn't discuss in my recent columns. In non-wrestling news, I find it funny how the gasoline industry is blaming the Northeast blackout for the higher gasoline prices. Yeah, that's with Labor Day coming up here on Monday. Gas prices always go up around the holidays, whether is was Memorial Day, 4th of July, and now this. With the blackout, they feel they have a legit excuse to fool people into their own evil agendas. It's great to see that Freddy vs. Jason is doing well at the box office. I hope it prompts many sequels and spin-offs. I do. I'm a HUGE fan of both series, and really enjoyed the Freddy vs. Jason movie. I hear that we may see 2 more Freddy movies now, one a prequel and another a sequel. The prequel would be rather intense and graphic, given that Freddy was a child murderer before he was killed by the parents of Elm Street. With Jason, who knows? In Jason X, he was shot off on Earth 2, so maybe they could do something with that? Either way, I'm excited because more movies will be produced! Yes! Should the NFL Preseason be shortened? No way, Jose! Why? Because coaches need 4 games to evaluate talent, such as rookies trying to make camp and veterans trying to keep their jobs. If you have a superstar player, then bench him. The injuries to Vick and Pennington could have been avoided, but instead, the coaches put them out there for hungry defensive players to murder them. Good job, guys. Baseball's playoff race is fantastic, especially for both Central divisions and both wildcards. I predict that we'll see the Yankees, Athletics, Mariners, and White Sox going for the AL, while the Giants, Cubs, Braves, and Cardinals going in the NL. Playoff baseball is only topped by one thing, and that's NFL playoffs.
On to my RAW review.
Our first match of the night was the exciting (sarcasm) women's division presenting us with Gail Kim vs. Trish Stratus. More of the same from this division, doing the same moves, over and over again. Trish won the match, ok, and Molly Holly would run down and attack Trish. She would then give Gail a weird look, leading me to believe that a Lesbian angle is on the horizon. I don't have the information to base my prediction, but given the patterns set forth by previous WWE angles, this could be where we are heading.
The next unfortunate match was Garrison Cade/Mark Jindrak vs. Mark Henry/Rodney Mack. Oh boy, another Mark Henry push. Has anybody ever realized that this attempt at making an Olympic powerlifter, one who couldn't get the job done at the Olympics, into a wrestler was a bad idea? He just looks terrible in the ring, he's too injury prone, and the fans just don't care to see him. A yawner of a tag team match, and Henry and Rodney win the match against the OVW jobbers. What a great use of television time!
I got a good laugh out of Rosey attacking the guy who shoots out t-shirts to the crowd. I'll keep saying this: I may have been wrong about the team of Rosey and Hurricane. It's starting to look like it will work. My main beef was that the WWE creative team could get bored with them, just as they have with any other thing involving the Hurricane.
For more bad tag team wrestling, we had the Dudleys vs. La Resistance/Rob Conway. Gotta love how the WWE goes to the well, too often, when it comes to the War on Terrorism. Conway just sounded too ackward saying that stuff. Sigh, didn't the WWE learn with Sgt. Slaughter turning Iraqi? The 6 man was your usual unorganized tag team wrestling involving the Dudleys and La Resistance. Why is it that the Smackdown roster can put on very polished tag matches, while the RAW roster can't even come close? Yes my friends, Smackdown IS the better wrestling show. The evil French and Conway get the win with the stale and repetitive belt finish. Every champion uses their title belt for the win these days.
The next segment was Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel, with Linda McMahon as the guest. It doesn't go too far when Vince McMahon runs down, as if he doesn't get enough television time. He laughs at Linda, saying he invited Bischoff to their house. *Yawn* Shane McMahon couldn't resist coming out, for he's a McMahon, and he yells at his dad. Jericho, playing the role of the kissass heel so nicely, sticks up for Vince and Shane gets offended. They have words and Chris Jericho attacks Shane McMahon in the end. YEAH! I liked that. The segment ends with Shane vs. Jericho becoming the main event of the show. Oh joy. This main event was announced well into the 2nd hour, giving fans nothing to look foward to in the first hour. We'll see how this translates in the ratings.
The next bout was Maven vs. Randy Orton. I thought it started out well with some decent mat wrestling, and I liked the double dropkick attempt. After that, the match fell apart, and both were exposed for the experience they both so sorely need. D'oh. Orton would win the match, first using the RKO and then a Superkick, which connected pretty good on Maven's chin. Replay confirmed that. Looks like Orton vs. Shawn Michaels was being held off for Unforgiven, which is a good idea, especially since Goldberg needed some bodies to kill in the Elimination chamber. I'm fine with this and their match should be pretty good at the PPV.
Next, we had Eric Bischoff awarding Johnathan Coachman "Employee of the Month" in the ring. This is the first time they gave this award in the public... This unorganized segment eventually led to Steve Austin and Christian coming out, and an eventual Christian vs. Jerry Lawler match getting booked. Huh? Talk about going in a completely different direction than what the segment was originally intended for: giving more heat to the Coach.
Christian beat Jerry Lawler in a sloppy match, given that Lawler is pretty old and that the King and Christian probably don't wrestle each other often. Kinda sad that your IC champion needs interference to beat a wrestler well beyond his prime, as the Coach ran some interference. After the match, Steve Austin booking Johnathan Coachman vs. Jerry Lawler next week. What the hell is with the WWE's major hard-on to book non-wrestlers into matches? Don't they know that it is NOT drawing any extra attention to their shows, and it's actually doing long term damage by keeping actual wrestlers out of the matches? Sigh...
Speaking of non-wrestlers, Shane McMahon took on Chris Jericho in the main event. Not much of a match, which had Kane running in briefly. Shane would then follow Kane after getting chokeslammed, and they would brawl in the backstage area. A dumpster would be lit on fire, with Kane intending to burn Shane. However, Kane was thrown into it, making me pray that he puts his mask back on! Oh boy, more fire and another unbelieveable ending! Way to go, WWE writers! Keep proving me right that you have no idea how to entertain wrestling fans.
LAST WORD: Well, I like how HHH vs. Goldberg was announced early. I appreciate that. Orton vs. HBK's feud started off nicely, again. Rosey/Hurricane seems to be working. Other than that, another crappy effort by RAW. Bad wrestling all around, too many McMahons, and Kane's storyline is getting too ridiculous at this point. This show gets a [ D ] for a poorly written show and bad wrestling. I can't wait for Smackdown, the best wrestling show on television to show me glimpses of what good wrestling is.
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