Coming to you for the second straight day in a row..... it's the WRATH OF TITO! I'm having a great week, whoooo! I'm putting my hernia injury behind me, my 2 Fantasy Football teams kicked ass this week, AND, get this... Last night, I finally scored a perfect 160 on Mario Kart: Double Dash!! during the 150cc speed of the All-Cup Tour. You don't understand how hard it is to win 16 races in a row with the blue-spikes, red shells, and lightning that can suddenly hit at any moment. I've had many 158's in my day from finishing second in one of the races... but now, I finally beat that bastard and can retire.
-Seriously, why is NWA-TNA even bothering with washed-up Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner? Now look, I'm not for denying someone work, but if NWA-TNA wants to advance in the wrestling world, they MUST create their own stars instead of living in the past. When I've watched several of the recent TNA broadcasts, I see a bunch of young wrestlers busting their asses in the ring while Dusty Rhodes and Vince Russo hog the spotlight with their lame WCW Thunder feud. Steiner and Nash, as far as I'm concerned, are two wrestlers who don't give good rubs to other wrestlers, nor do their performances merit what a dumbass company would pay for them. The WWE was highly idiotic for placing Nash and Steiner into 4 WWE title matches last year on Pay Per Views and the buyrates for those 4 shows are ridiculous! The WCW freight-train has been robbed. There's nobody from that roster that you can bring in and instantly draw attention. Many of the wrestlers are too old to draw like they used to, or many can't draw at all and were all part of a big steamrolling machine in 1996-1997 (Kevin Nash, especially!).
But hey, if this is how NWA-TNA plans on becoming legit competition against the WWE, I'll let them dig their own grave.
-And to keep on the NWA-TNA subject, it looks as though Big Vito is gone from the company. The guy's not a bad performer, but he's not one to add to growing your company. He asked for more money in WCW and was canned, and this is the case with NWA-TNA as well. I remember a certain "Monkey" who criticized the WWE's signing of Rene Dupree when the WWE could go out and sign Konnan and Big Vito instead. Dupree is still young (like 21-22 years old, if that) and developing, while Konnan is finding steady work in NWA-TNA (after bouncing from indy to indy) and Big Vito was just released from NWA-TNA for monetary demands. I am glad that Konnan is finding a decent role on NWA-TNA. During the end of his WCW career and shortly thereafter, Konnan wasn't quite worthy of bringing into the WWE. With NWA-TNA, he's part of a stable and keeping him in the midcard is as far as he probably can go. Konnan would get lost in the midcard for life in the WWE, while at least Dupree has a chance to grow into a major superstar. I'll take Dupree.
-The "Season Premiere of Monday Night RAW" is next week. When did last season end? Anyway, on RAW, Vince McMahon promised changes for RAW and the General Manager Eric Bischoff. Jesus, I hope Bischoff isn't shitlisted for leaving early at Unforgiven. That was an honest mistake, as he was unaware he was still written on the show. But the funny change for RAW happened AT Unforgiven... Vince McMahon gave up on Randy Orton as World Champion.
In all seriousness, if I were Vince McMahon, I would merge the roster. It's time. The brands are so watered down now due to injuries or damaging booking to many wrestlers. I've been the biggest advocate of the brand extension because it kept Triple H away from the likes of Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit (while he was on Smackdown), Eddie Guerrero, and John Cena. Now, you have Smackdown with Undertaker and JBL as the main event program (*gasp*), with Kurt Angle thankfully coming back, and RAW with Triple H as champion and Randy Orton as a contender not voted on by the fans. TIME TO MERGE. Think about a main event program with Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H. I would absolutely love to see Angle or Guerrero against Shawn Michaels and I would, for real, fork out money for each Pay Per View they wrestled on. In addition, the Intercontinental Title and United States titles aren't being used properly. The belts are used more as a prop and not something that's defended well. The tag team division on each roster is very shady. The WWE barely uses the Women's division and Cruiserweight division, so who cares about them?
An unfortunate bi-product of this would be several wrestlers getting cut from the roster. It's sad. However, the WWE needs a big change to become highly successful again and a merge roster could produce more money to keep more rosters signed. Both the RAW and Smackdown rosters have been hammered with injuries, leaving openings for Tough Enough or the Diva Contest to take up television time. MERGE the rosters! It is finally time to give the fans one solid product to watch and to provide fans with a Main Event program worthy of being called a MAIN EVENT program.
News has been dry lately for wrestling, so on to the RAW review!
Our first match of the night was Robert Conway vs. Chris Benoit. Pretty good match between Benoit and Conway, as Conway has flares of being a decent singles star if Grenier can find another tag partner. Conway gave Benoit a pretty good fight, and when Grenier tried to interfere, William Regal helped out Benoit. Well, they were tag partners at Unforgiven... I'm not sure if the WWE is going to push Benoit/Regal as tag champs or to have Benoit help out Randy Orton, as he did at the end of RAW? You can't have a wrestler involved with several storylines, ya hear? I liked the ending with the 4 Germans and then Benoit just slapped on the Crippler Crossface.
Mick Foley and JBL debating? I don't know how you can arrange this as a good debate because JBL is a heel and Foley is a face. Bradshaw is definitely more of a Republican, while Mick Foley is more of a Democrat. While Bradshaw has shown his conservative side through his character, Foley showed his liberal side in his second book, Foley is Good, when he ripped bigtime right-winger Brent Bozell over the Parents Television Council (PTC) stuff. Should be an interesting trainwreck. Nothing beats the hilarity of Scott Steiner and Chris Nowinski in a political debate. That was comedic GOLD and it was where Steiner coined the famous "master debator" line (although I'm sure someone else in comedy has said it...). I'm actually getting sick of debating politics anymore, insomuch that it's like talking to a way from the repetitiveness I see from whomever I debate with. I seriously can't wait until the elections are over and I hope there aren't any controversies to extend our election this time. I just want it to go smoothly and get out of our lives until 2008!
Next, SHE'S GOT LEGS, as Stacy Kiebler comes out to attempt to present the Diva Contest. However, Molly Holly interrupts. By the way, notice how Molly never complained about getting her hair cut. Guys like Test and Christian threw fits when asked to get their hair trimmed. Molly is upset about the Diva Contest, which is actually going to end next week (yipee!), saying that the current WWE divas aren't getting any respect/attention. Stacy defended the Divas regarding having actual talent, prompting Molly to challenge Stacy to any kind of competition. Dancing was the competition chosen, and Molly laughed, for she had 8 years of ballet. Molly did some ballet to William Regal's music. I can't critique ballet, sorry. Next, it was Stacy who danced more like a stripper than a former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader AND Nitro Girl. Yeah, I said it! Nice use of "Brick House", though, as the Commodores would be proud... Stacy's dickteasing dance caused Molly to get angry and attack! This prompted Victoria and Nidia to run down as well as Gail Kim and Trish Stratus. Eric Bischoff, being the fair and balanced General Manager that he's been, decided to make a six man.
This show REEKED of some Heyman ideas with the impromptu match ideas, such as this six woman match and Christian/Tomko vs. HBK/Jericho. So, the next match was Nidia/Stacy/Victoria vs. Trish/Molly/Gail Kim. I actually like the female heels, especially in this match where they actually carried most of the bout! Nidia is still a little loose around the edges while Stacy is NOT a wrestler. By the way, Molly Holly helped train Stacy Keibler and the rest of the WCW women back in the day and I have the pictures to prove it! Well, trained them to take bumps, excuse me. Stacy, oddly, got revenge on Molly with a quick roll up victory. Nothing like a non-wrestler pinning a trained wrestler. By the way, speaking of non-wrestlers, I thought Ric Flair's words about David Arquette were very nice in Flair's book. While Arquette shouldn't have won the WCW title, he actually donated all of his WCW checks to the families of Brian Pillman, Owen Hart, and other wrestlers who died before Arquette wrestled in WCW. I give him props for that, too.
The next segment was Chris Jericho's HIGHLIGHT REEL featuring Shawn Michaels. Both bragged about their wins last night and Jericho bragged about being a 7 time Intercontinental champion. All kinds of record breaking tonight in terms of titles. Michaels would then talk about his past with Jericho, as they both fought evenly in their bouts and had some unfinished business. We were about to get HBK vs. Chris Jericho for the IC title until Christian and Tyson Tomko arrived to stop that IC title match, as Christian really cares about that title. Tomko, instead, suggests they wrestle in a tag team match which Christian makes good facial expressions to show he doesn't want that kind of match. So they wrestled.....
Christian/Tyson Tomko vs. Shawn Michaels/Chris Jericho was a long and boring tag match. All parties were exhausted from wrestling last night, namely Jericho and Christian who wrestled a freakin' ladder match. The match just didn't do it for me... HBK won for the faces by giving Sweet Chin Music to Tomko. Afterward, Christian jumped Michaels. Wow, if Michaels can churn out a great match out of Christian (Christian of 2004, not 2000), a medal will be awarded. Maybe a trophy!
We saw the debut of Simon Dean... at least through a segment. Pretty believeable that he's a fitness guru, I must say... How that translates into a wrestler fans want to see, especially when a gay stylist, a plummer, an evil golfer, a repo man, a trashman, and other professions have yet to work... OK, so the Undertaker has worked! That's one example!
Next, we had the Diva Contest, as it's down to redhead and Carmella, who is CLEARLY going to win. This week's contest was originally hosted by the Coach until an angry Vince McMahon came down with the classic strut. Vince was angry with Coach's apparent actions at Unforgiven, insomuch that tonight's "boxing" contest was to beat up Coach and not each other for the Divas. The redhead more or less goofed off during her time with the Coach, while Carmella showed what a great barfighter she is by really laying into the Coach with some haymakers. Funny how the likes of the Rock and Vince McMahon were needed to help out this struggling Diva Contest.
Kane fought a jobber in the next match, as he made little work of the guy and attempted to break the guy's throat ala Shawn Michaels. Earlier, Kane wanted a rematch with Michaels because his "bitch wife" caused him the match. Lita tried to stop Kane and talk some sense into him. The jobber then got up and hit Kane into Lita, causing what COULD be a miscarriage. Please, miscarry this whole storyline... Lots of television time was given to the paramedics trying to haul Lita away with Kane trying to stay calm. Maybe it could spark actual love FROM Kane to Lita, if Lita just so happens to keep the baby. Regardless, a bump like that would cause the baby to possibly come out pre-maturely in a few months.
The MAIN EVENT was Randy Orton vs. HHH/Ric Flair/Batista. Not much of a match, as Evolution was quickly disqualified for a 3 on 1 beatdown. The referee didn't even try the 5 count. This would prompt a returning Shelton Benjamin to attack, for he was feuding with Evolution before his injury. Then, Chris Benoit would run down for his always on-going feud with Evolution. The show finished out with the faces fending off the heels and walking away to a big crowd cheer. A GOOD MOVE, for once, with regards to Randy Orton by surrounding him with guys who are clearly faces. Orton can't get the face pops on his own, so why not get it by associating himself with faces instead of fighting Evolution on his own?
LAST WORD: A big improvement over the last few weeks, although not a best show of 2004. The angles seemed to advance or set up for next week's "Season Premiere". That's fine and dandy with yours truly. Benoit vs. Conway was pretty good, while the rest of the show was either hurt from tired/injured wrestlers or the booking. Otherwise, a good overall show by RAW for a change and I'll go [ B ], citing that the WWE can do better.
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