It's FRIIIIIIIDAY! Welcome back to the column that's a dish best served cold, the WRATH OF TITO. Today, we talk about SMACKDOWN, the best damn wrestling show on television, among other things. Some got on me, last week, for my A+ grade for Smackdown. Some point to the ratings, while others insist that the Ironman match was boring. I liked it. I thought of the 3 Ironman matches, Lesnar vs. Angle had better mat wrestling and drama, in my opinion. I thought Hart vs. HBK was the boring one, with so many weardowns and NO falls in the 60 minutes they wrestled, while HHH vs. Rock didn't have the mat wrestling (but was pretty entertaining). I liked it, and probably like their bout better than HBK vs. Hart... It's been a while since I've seen HHH vs. Rock, so I can't determine which is better (although leaning towards Angle/Lesnar).
As for the ratings... Oh no, panic! The Ironman match didn't draw extra fans! Whatever. I blame Vince and Stephanie McMahon for their overexposure on the show in the months and weeks leading up to the Ironman match to drown out a big spike, such as a match of that magnitude. Smackdown is so flooded with McMahons, which in my opinion, handcuffs the show from any growth with younger fans. Whenever something big such as an Ironman match occurs, fans are so turned off already from the McMahon overexposure. That's what I've been preaching all along. The McMahons should TRUST in their talent to provide entertainment. They need to get together and figure how how Vince McMahon has lost over $500 Million in the last 3 years alone instead of figuring out to make their shows better.
Seriously, have you seen the Forbes 500? Vince McMahon didn't make it this year, and they said his worth is somewhere between $500 and $600 million. Yeah, that's a nice chunk of change, but when you compare that to his status in 2000, he was a billionaire! He's lost half of his worth. Yeah, he's still a millionaire, but think about it. His ignorance regarding the professional wrestling industry since 2000 has lost him around $500 million. That's a serious hit to the wallet that he's taking when trashing great angles such as the WCW/ECW invasions, Bill Goldberg, and letting HHH rule the RAW roster without questioning him. Is it really worth losing that much money just to feed your own ego and to please your own daughter, Stephanie, as the stupid creative team leader? Any other business wouldn't let that happen, but this is Vince McMahon and he only gives a crap whenever there's competition to defeat.
I don't know much about NWA-TNA, but I laugh at the uproar regarding the hiring of Dutch Mantell as a booker. Why? Take WCW in 1992. They brought in Cowboy Bill Watts, who was a very successful booker in the 1980's and before that. However, this was 1992 and Watts ideas about what the fans wanted were completely off. He was out of touch with the current product. Mantell is an older guy and from a different era, too. What guarantees that he knows what the NWA-TNA or prospective wrestling fans want? I wouldn't be surprised that he doesn't recognize good, young, and innovative talent, much like Bill Watts in 1992. Watts had wrestlers on the verge of breaking out in his company, Brian Pillman for one, and he tried everything in his power to hold them down because he thought the fans didn't like them, or he thought the fans would like the guys he wanted to push. Don't be surprised, NWA-TNA fans, if this booker from a different era causes problems down in that fed.
I heard some of Randy Savage's rapping the other day. You know, for a guy who can barely talk anyway, I'm baffled why he'd try to rap. Terrible would be too easy of a word to use. Some people need to stay within their best talents. When Deion Sanders tried to rap, he failed. Chris Rock failed when he tried to sing. It's nice that an entertainer wants to branch out into music, but to embarrass themselves when trying publicly? What Macho needs to do is to admit that his market value as a wrestler is low right now (he apparently wants millions to wrestle, which is what he demanded in 2000) and get back into what he does best. Macho is a lot healthier than Hulk Hogan or any of the other veterans trying to make comebacks. Then again, the fact that he's healthy could be a good reason to stay out to further risk injury.
"The Rundown" seems to be getting great review, thus far, from the critics. That's great. It couldn't happen to a more deserving guy in the Rock. I hope it goes bonkers in the Box Office, and I'll be a part of it when the movie comes out, for sure. The Rock has that marketability about him, along with the charisma that has everyone liking each move he does in the entertainment field. He has that extra something that say a Triple H or Steve Austin lack, and namely Triple H, who had to beg for a bit role in the third Blade movie and is guaranteed to fail as an actor. Go Rock!
Congrats to Chris Jericho on becoming a father. He's now becoming the Ayatollah of Getting Olda!
Getting back to Triple H, because it's hard to resist not talking about that dominant figure in the WWE. Don't you just love how he left the WWE? He just said the "fans don't deserve to see him", and he's gone. Instead of doing some injury angle to put over another wrestler, he walks out and says Goldberg is keeping his title warm (which is so ironic since it's probably true). Triple H has totally crapped on Chris Jericho, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Kane, and even Bill Goldberg (Summerslam) for the last 2 years to make nobody on the RAW roster credible. Some will say the ratings of RAW will drop. So? What were you expecting for a roster where nobody has credibility? I mean seriously, who can wrestle Bill Goldberg right now and make it a compelling feud? All of his possible opponents were Triple H bitches. And you just know several bookers favoring Triple H will purposely screw up RAW and set it up to fail so that when HHH returns, he can say "I told you so" about his reign as champion. Guarantee it!
Before I go on ranting more about Triple H, on to the Smackdown review!
Tajiri vs. Rey Mysterio, Guerreros vs. Matt Hardy/Shannon Moore, and Eddie doing double duty by wrestling Charlie Haas. That, my friends, is the making of a great show.
The show starts off with Vince McMahon and Sable going to introduce the Undisputed WWE Title to Brock Lesnar. Sable is looking fantastic, and I *laugh* at anyone who makes stupid age wisecracks at her. After gloating for a while, Kurt Angle runs out, and Vince puts words in his mouth and says that Brock did in fact cheat to win. Vince also knew Angle wanted a rematch, and Vince denies him, stating that he must now work his way up from the bottom to the top. Well, no problem with that, for Angle DOES put over the younger and midcard talent. Angle gets the mic and says that he's coming for Lesnar, calling him out. However, John Cena comes out instead and he gets on the mic and starts to rap. Whiner and Vagina rhyme? Kurt Angle immediately takes offense and attacks Cena, Cena runs off, and Angle is still focused on Lesnar and he's going to the back to get him.
Backstage, Angle is looking for Lesnar and finds his lockerroom. However, Cena is there for the attack! During the break, Cena is off and running and hightails it with his SUV. They should have a good match up, given that Angle gave Cena a great match with Cena on his debut last year!
We lie, we cheat, we steal! Our first match of the night was Los Guerreros vs. Matt Hardy/Shannon Moore. I have to say that the Hardy book is pretty good. I'm roughly halfway done. In the book, Matt Hardy discussed how his legs are in his hip sockets weird. I find myself trying to see how that affects him, oddly enough. Nice snapmare into a dropkick to the face by the Guerreros. Great teamwork. Nice baseball slide through the middle ropes by Matt. These 4 are moving at speeds the RAW roster can't even imagine! Very nice set up for the Froggy Splash for the Guerreros to win the match. It was a somewhat quick match, so I can't see how Eddie could be tired. Oh wait, Matt Hardy attacked Eddie Guerrero afterward. I *HOPE* this leads to a Matt Hardy vs. Eddie Guerrero feud. I'm begging for it!
During the commercial break, Charlie Haas attacks Eddie and Chavo, and applies the nasty Haas of Pain submission to Eddie. OUCH, that's a great submission hold.
HOSS ALERT! HOSS ALERT! A-Train runs down, very pissed off, and says "for weeks, everyone says I can't beat Chris Benoit". Albert rips on the Philly crowd, and wants someone to wrestle now. He then attacks the timekeeper and applies the crossface to the timekeeper. Chris Benoit then runs down and they fight. Benoit applies the Crossface, but Albert gets out of it and eventually drills Benoit with a chair. I'd imagine they'll wrestle a blow off match on the Pay Per View or maybe next week? Hopefully, Benoit can win and give Lesnar a great challenger... Albert's arm is heavily bandaged, by the way.
Backstage, Eddie is in pain and the trainer recommends not wrestling. Eddie refuses and says he'll still wrestle.
In Vince's office, Vince is hitting on Sable, but of course, who wouldn't... I bet you that he's hitting Sable on the side. Why? Well, Vince DOES have a history of cheating on his wife and Rena did get a legal separation from her husband, Mark Mero.
Backstage, Charlie Haas is with Josh, and Haas says he attacked Eddie like the Guerreros hurt Shelton Benjamin last week.
This show seems to use more clips, of say from the previous two weeks to build feuds. I don't see that as much on RAW. Hmmmm...
Wow, WWE Confidential will discuss the plane crash Ric Flair survived from in the 1970's. Must see if you want to know why Flair lands off to the side when he's tossed.
The next match was Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri for the Cruiserweight Title. I'm keeping the match time of this to see how much the WWE cares about these guys. Nice usual headscissor moves by Mysterio. So crisp as always. It's a shame Ultimo Dragon hasn't been given a good chance against Mysterio, yet. They'd tear the roof off the building, possibly. Funny stuff with Tajiri distracting the referee so he could try the myst. Commercial.. Devastating kick to Mysterio as he came off the ropes. I can't see how you could continue if that knocked the wind out of you. Nice reversal into the bulldog by Mysterio. Tajiri accidentally hit the referee. Rey hits the 619, but misses the West Coast Pop, and Tajiri kicks the bejesus out of him. New referee, and 2 count only. The RED MYST!!!! TAJIRI SPIT THE RED MYST!!! He would then go on to win the title after that. Holy cow! Shades of the Great Muta with the multicolored mysts! Excuse me for marking out! Pretty solid bout from these two.
Zach Gowen update is next week... don't care.
Odd to hear Michael Cole bragging about ratings success on UPN. The next match was the Bashams vs. Jamie Noble and Bradshaw. Bradshaw is working stiff as ever against the newcomers. Heaven forbid that this "WWE veteran" ever seems helpful in elevating young talent. Jamie Noble is the "face in peril" here, because you know, Bradshaw doesn't sell anything to newcomers. Nice work between Noble and the Bashams. For someone who says he "cares about the business", he's sure to be stiff with these wrestlers to hurt them from getting future paychecks. Match ends in a DQ when Shaniqua attacked Bradshaw after a Clothesline from hell. It wasn't bad with Noble and the Bashams wrestling, but my gawd, Bradshaw needs to cut it out with his veteran bullshit.
To fill time, they showed clips of the Angle vs. Lesnar match.
Next match was Eddie Guerrero vs. Charlie Haas. For whatever reason, Big Show came down for commentary. Oh God, I'm praying for a feud other than Big Show vs. Eddie. But of course, my ticket for hell is paid for, and the Big Show attacked Eddie Guerrero. Charlie Haas has the odds stacked in favor for him, tonight. Somewhat slow match to start, for it's Haas on the attack of Eddie's injuries. Haas eventually applies the Haas of Pain, which my friends, has to hurt if you really pull back. Eddie gets out and tries to fight back. Haas goes for the repetitive belt finish, but the referee stops him. Haas pushes away the referee, and Eddie sets up the belt for Haas to run into (on the turnbuckle). Eddie wins via Froggy splash. Slow match, but they were selling it as Eddie was hurt. Not as dramatic as it could have been, though.
We didn't have a main event, for it was Vince McMahon repeating his first segment of the night... Only this time, Brock Lesnar actually shows up. He's given the title belt, and the fans are booing pretty loudly. Lesnar thanks Vince for bringing the monster back in him, and talks some smack on Angle. Yadda Yadda Yadda. Then, the Undertaker comes down and he looks to want a piece of Brock Lesnar. Undertaker declares that he has a title shot, but Vince McMahon says "under whose authority do you have to make a match", and Stephanie McMahon walks down. Wow, my 2 favorite people in one segment... and they are both McMahons! My God, when October 25th comes around, this federation is doomed forever. Stephanie makes Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar for No Mercy. Vince says if she makes this match, she'll be in the first ever Father vs. Daughter match. THEY ARE SO FULL OF THEMSELVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After some Vince threats, Brock Lesnar and Undertaker get into it and the Undertaker gets the upperhand with a Chokeslam. The end.
LAST WORD: The Cancers of Smackdown always come out and end the show in a sour note. This Stephanie vs. Vince feud must end, and sadly, a one on one match will be created for it, and even more television time will be dictated their way. I liked the tag team title match, Mysterio vs. Tajiri especially, but the rest of the show struggled. It was more of a set up show for feuds to come, and while I can accept that, what I can't accept is some bad veteran wrestling in spots and too much McMahon crap at the beginning and end. I'll give this show a [ C+ ] (C Plus), which is a slightly above average show, but could have been better.
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@That's all for today's column. Just chill till the next episode....