I told you guys I would be returning for a SMACKDOWN edition of the Wrath of Tito. I have the time now to produce a column, now that I'm not working as much (cause in the summer, I work like a dog!). I do find it rather funny that UPN forces the WWE to be only 90 minutes this week just to sponsor its new show, "The Mullets", which will become an absolute failure to the network, anyway. I, for one, am insulted to think this special showing is geared towards wrestling fans, thinking that WWE fans will instantly tune into a show they "may" relate to. Yeah, nice stereotyping there UPN, that's a way to capture WWE fans to watch your other shows.

Sadly, UPN does NOT follow history. Look at the USA Networks and TNN for whoring new shows before or after WWE programming. For USA Networks, Duckman, La Femme Nikita, Pacific Blue, and many more TV shows completely flopped when being attached. How about TNN? Stripperella, SlamBall, CSI repeats, and now the Joe Schmo show will all suffer from the failed WWE rub. In 2000, why do you think USA Networks didn't want to match what Viacom offered to the WWE? It's because they knew that in the long run, they were better off without the WWE. Look at USA Networks. Shows like the "Dead Zone" are insanely successful for them, and that's without the WWE rub. You must INNOVATE when it comes to television these days instead of leeching off of one show.

It's rather funny when many WWE superstars are given time off only to attend Triple H's bachelor party AND wedding, but they aren't given days off just for the sake of having time off or a chance to spend time with their families. The WWE business is coming to a screeching hault that weekend, and you just know if a wrestler no shows either festivity, they'll be in the WWE doghouse. But my real point is that the wrestlers only get time off when the WWE wants to give them time off. Wrestlers live and die on the road, and some could suggest it's showing up in the product. Say you have to wrestle for 4 days a week, and spend 2 more days travelling. Let's not forget that you MUST work out every morning, too, so you're job is not just 8 hours per day when you're involved with the WWE. Therefore, you could assume the wrestlers would be very tired come Monday or Tuesday when the tapings occur, correct?

Several readers are asking of if I purchased the $0.01 NWA-TNA Pay Per View on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch the recap or 'best of' show because my school cable provider doesn't offer Pay Per Views service to the dorms. Would I purchase it if I could? Of course. It's basically for free, so yeah, I'd give it a shot. Would I pay $9.95 or so, every week, to watch the NWA-TNA on a regular basis? NO! I don't feel I have to pay to watch another federation's regular programming. If they get a network deal, then yes, I'll watch them. But I won't pay money to see them on Pay Per View every week. For one, I already spend 4 hours of my life, for free, watching wrestling, so why would I pay to add 2 more, no matter how good it is? I've heard nothing but good things about the NWA-TNA lately, so if I were the Jarretts, I'd put together a presentable package for the networks to look at.

However, as I've said time in and time again, and I somewhat hinted at it above, Cable networks don't gain any extra viewership from wrestling. Their surrounding shows don't receive the extra rub, and plus, wrestling has a lower rate of advertising dollars receieved per hour. Seriously. Thank the PTC and WWE's filthy storylines for scaring away big name advertisers. Now, the WWE is sponsored by video games and second-rate shoe companies. Remember when Coke, Burger King, and the Armed Forces paid top dollar for sponsorship on WWE programming? They learned their lesson 3-4 years ago, and I guarantee they will not be back again. If NWA-TNA gets on a cable deal, the bets are on that NWA-TNA will get lowball offers for advertisements. It's the honest truth, and because of those lower offers, a cable network might not want to take them on.

But who would? FOX Networks is the only one I could think of that would take them, via the FX channel. USA Networks are doing fine without the WWE, thank you very much. Under the sale of WCW, the AOL/Time Warner networks aren't allowed to have wrestling for a while (that might be ending soon, but it's doubtful AOL execs would want wrestling on their netorks, for it was an AOL guy who eliminated WCW from the networks). FX is the only hope (or maybe FOX Sports Net), as Viacom owns many popular cable channels and Disney wouldn't even think to have wrestling on their channels.

Looking around the internet, I saw that 411mania had a thing on upcoming plans for Survivor Series 2003, and guess what will be featured from the Smackdown roster? Nope, nothing involving Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, or even Eddie Guerrero. Come on, guess! Early reports suggest the WWE is planning to have the Undertaker vs. Vince McMahon match on Survivor Series. UGH!!!! Doesn't the WWE ever learn? This bullshit involving non-wrestlers must end, and the 1938384747747327373 angles involving Boss vs. Face Wrestler must end. Seriously. Is that the most innovative thing that the McMahons and the rest of the retard farm backstage can think of?

Is there any faith in the wrestlers to perform these days? I see it as the WWE coasting on top, and that they can keep wrestlers from getting elevated by pushing non-wrestlers in main event spots to avoid handing out those show bonuses. It's effective cost cutting, to say the least, but it's doing incredible long run damage to the WWE. Just you wait, by not giving the John Cenas or the Eddie Guerreros of the World a shot at the top, it will come back to haunt you when the ratings continue to slump and the competition only gets stronger. Again, it's only millions of dollars we're discussing here.

I keep repeating myself week in and week out, but the arrogant McMahons will never change, and things will only get worse with a "new" McMahon added to the family.

SMACKDOWN is TITO

WWE presented a few words in memory of those lost on 9/11. Very classy.

I absolutely LOVE the Smackdown entrance. RAW seriously needs an entrance makeover!

Our first match was Rey Mysterio/Billy Kidman vs. Nunzio/Tajiri. Man, those were some terribly edited cheers or boos for Kidman, Nunzio, and Tajiri. I'm sure both had some crowd response, but man, it sounds very fake on TV. Devastating "tree of woe" tag combo on Kidman. Ouch! See, it's good tag team chemistry here that the RAW brand lacks. The only chemistry on RAW is the finishing moves, such as the 3D. Other than that, the Dudleys wrestle like 2 bad singles wrestlers. Very nice reversal of the Tornado DDT by Billy Kidman. Good arm drag stuff by Rey-Rey. Very fun finish to this short, yet energetic opener. Tajiri/Nunzio won after Tajiri ducked the 619. Afterward, Tajiri hit Mysterio with the title belt because that's the common thing to do in the WWE.

I seriously believe Vince McMahon is banging Sable on the side. You know, Rena Mero's marriage is on the rocks right now... Backstage, Sable, Vince, and Big Show are in the office when Stephanie walks in. She's upset about Brock Lesnar's action from last week. You can clearly see Stephanie reading from cue cards when talking to Vince. She writes this material, correct? Brock Lesnar then walks in, yells at Steph and Vince goes along with him. Lesnar wants the Undertaker, Angle, and Zach Gowen in a match tonight. But none of them are there. D'oh! Lesnar is pretty funny in this segment when thinking about opponents. He decides that he has yet to wrestle Stephanie, and Vince agrees and makes the match. She can either wrestle him or quit as GM. Has she even been GM, lately, to begin with? Ever since the extended Hogan vs. Vince feud, Vince McMahon has been the matchmaker of Smackdown, not Stephanie.

Here's a weird thought. Why is Game Cube putting out a game called "Wrestlemania 19", a mere 5 months after the actual event happened? It would make more sense to make a Wrestlemania 20 (or XX), given that it's very unlikely that the WWE would make another game for the Game Cube within a year's time. Oh well.

Backstage, a whole lot of boobs get together in Torrie, Dawn Marie, and Nidia, and they discuss Shaniqua, for Dawn Marie has a match with her.

The next "match" was Shaniqua vs. Dawn Marie. Funny how we are supposed to assume Shaniqua is so tough, despite being a former Tough Enough 2 contestant. Ooops, that was Linda Myles, NOT Shaniqua. My bad. Shaniqua uses basic power moves to pound on Dawn Marie, and eventually gets a chair. Torrie and Nidia attack, but Shaniqua then gets the advantage on Nidia only to stand there WAITING for a chairshot by Torrie. How low brow can you bet when it comes to wrestling with these ladies?

Gotta love Truth's "ingredient game" cigarette commercial. There's a reason cigarettes don't list ingredients: THEY ARE NOT FOOD!

Backstage, Sable gives advice to Stephanie not to wrestle Brock Lesnar. Ok.

The next match was Chris Benoit vs. Rhyno, which has been a pretty long feud. This has the makings of a stiff match, for both don't hold much back. This is the match with ticket sales listed. It shows you how much the WWE internally cares about these two wrestlers, even though they can out work nearly everybody on the roster. A-Train rammed Benoit into the post, and it almost cost Benoit the match. Commercial break... Back... I remember when the Superplex was a big deal. Hell, Barry Windham used to defeat other wrestlers with that very move. Very nice sunset flip/powerbomb by Benoit. Fantastic! Benoit won and made Rhyno tap out. Let's hope this is the end of this feud and let Benoit move on.

Backstage, we have a card game between the APA and Hardy, with other wrestlers. They argue over Shannon and drinking, and hilarity ensues.

Backstage, John Cena is stuck in a scene from the movie "Lionheart", where the cars are surrounded in a circle for a fight.

Eddie Guerrero vs. John Cena in a parking lot brawl was next. Glad to see they added wrestlers to cheer the match on to give it more of a street fight feel. Plus, they went old school by wearing jeans. Back in the 1980's, the "brawls" had wrestlers wearing jeans. I can remember the Fantastics and the Midnight Express wrestling in such a match one time. Cena used a lawn mower? A first! I love how they jump on and land on the piece of shit cars, while some very nice cars surround them. Decent brawl, which finished with Chavo Guerrero helping Eddie to win after cracking Cena with a hubcap (I think). Hopefully, the WWE keeps pushing Eddie as a singles wrestler, although the Los Guerreros were a fantastic tag team.

Matt Hardy/Shannon Moore took on the APA next. Funny stuff with the Matt Fact: Matt's Entertainment System requires 5 remotes. Faarooq? What about Ron Simmons? Sigh, inconsistency at its best. Usual APA match with lots of no selling, and the veterans are getting really slow. Bradshaw hits a vicious Clothesline from Hell to win the match. Yay, what a waste of time. Their butler comes out with some beer, and they do their Steve Austin impersonation. Did I mention that this show is watched by more younger viewers than older? Yeah, old stale acts from 1998-2000 need to go sometime soon.

Lots of Brock Lesnar is Evil clips...

Next week on Smackdown, it will be Torrie/Nida vs. Shaniqua. SMELL THE RATINGS! Actually, we will smell the ratings with Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle next week in an Ironman match.

Vince McMahon is out in the ring and he brings out Brock Lesnar, and he's got a shit grin on his face. He seems to be more adjusted in being a heel now than he was before. Which is good... Stephanie is ordered to come out, and she's wearing her favorite Chyna outfit tonight. Ohhhh, I'm a bastard! Steph would kick Vince in the balls, but Lesnar would then attack her. Brock tries to throw stairs at her, but she avoids with those catlike McMahon reflexes. She runs to the back, and Lesnar chases. Lesnar brings her back out and has her in position to F5 her on the post. However, Kurt Angle makes the save and a brawl between the two competitors ends the show. Their match, next week, will rule.

LAST WORD: 3 decent to good matches, and that's enough to get it in the B range. The rest of the show was, well, there. Therefore, this show will get a [ B- ] (B Minus), and it's still better than the crap on over at RAW.

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@That's all for today's column. Just chill till the next episode....

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