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WRESTLING COLUMNS

RAW Frustration
July 26, 2005 by Phil T.


I would like to first thank Brad Dykens and Kirsty Quested for naming me as an official columnist for OWW. I am thrilled to death and thanks to you guys I am even more determined to write the best columns I possibly can. I would also like to thank everyone who commented on my last column, "The Best of Times", either on the site or by sending me an email. I am very happy to say the majority of the responses were very positive and due to that fact I will be keeping my promise. I will definitely be writing more old school columns in the very near future, however recent developments have occurred in the WWE that I have to comment on. I will warn all of you right now that I will be, "BASHING" the WWE about 90% in this column. I can say for sure though that unlike most bashing columns I will be backing up all my opinions with countless facts that will be clear as crystal. I would also like to apologize for not sticking to my original game plan and making this column an old school classic, but if this twenty-two year wrestling fan doesn't purge his wrestling soul, he will EXPLODE!!!!

Vince McMahon has without a doubt succeeded in his plans to shake things up in the WWE over the last few weeks. He has also proven to me that he has absolutely no care for the quality of wrestling his once great company use to produce. At the present time and unfortunately probably for years down the road, Vince will put the almighty dollar ahead of quality. The main reason for this in my opinion is mostly due to the WWE becoming a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange a few years back. In the last few years it has become more important then ever for Vince to make sure his company produces a huge profit gain every year and makes the shareholders happy. I am sure after reading that sentence many of you are sick to your stomachs due to the fact, "It's true! It's true!" Perfect example is the current WWE Title itself. To this old school, die hard wrestling fan this is just as bad as burning a church or even burning Old Glory herself. There is only one reason McMahon committed such sacrilege, TO MAKE A PROFIT! I've read that a replica belt of the current WWE Title will be out by mid Fall. This wrestling fan hates to admit it, but the WWE will probably sell a shit load of them. For those of you that blame Cena for this piece of crap WWE recognizes as their WWE Title don't blame Cena, blame Vince McMahon. There is nothing shown on WWE television or on WWE.com that Vince McMahon doesn't give his OK on before it goes on air or is posted on the website. So anytime a WWE fan sees something they disagree with on a WWE broadcast the finger will eventually point back to Vince. I know what finger I would like to give Vince McMahon right now. What is most frustrating to me is that even after the roster cuts Vince McMahon still has a shit load of high quality talent that he will continue to miss use thinking he will make more money and eventually the fans will come around and see the genius behind Vince McMahon. The biggest name that comes into my head at the present time is Shawn Michaels.

HBK will always be my all time favorite, face or heel it doesn't matter I just love to see this guy in the ring, were on more then one occasion he has put on the best match of the night by far. My heart cracked worse than Hogan's jaw when HBK nailed the Hulkster with Sweet Chin Music on July 4th. Not because of the obvious heel turn that had just occurred, but why do it" What the hell was the point" Then I thought, "OH NO!" HBK vs. Hogan at SummerSlam and my heart cracked even more. If there was ever a reason for me to get a ton of negative feedback it will be right here. "The "Immortal" Hulk Hogan has no business competing with current WWE Superstars especially one's as great as Shawn Michaels!!" The truth hurts, doesn't it" Now when Hogan appeared at WrestleMania 21 I loved every second of it. The following month at Backlash I was one of the thousands that lucked out and got to see the match live. I will be the first to tell you I felt like a 10yr old kid again sitting in the old Boston Garden just going absolutely nuts for Hogan the second he came out till the second he left. However the initial shock value is gone and for anyone who saw the tag match on RAW when Michaels turned can't argue that Hogan's in ring skills are far gone as well. I hate to use the dreaded F word, but in that match Hogan made pro wrestling look FAKE. The Hulkster didn't take one bump the entire match. At least Flair goes out and does his signature slam from the top as well as his minimum three backdrops per match. If Hogan got back dropped the guy wouldn't get up. He has more nagging injuries then I have years on this planet. We all know that there is no one better at getting the crowd going better then Hogan, that's just a fact that will stand the test of time and I myself will never argue. But enough is enough. Flair at least still knows when to play to the crowd and when not to. Hogan has obviously forgotten. After he hits his signature big boot, he plays to the crowd for a minimum of 30 seconds and asks them, "Do you want the 1 2 3"" "I guess all the years of using steroids have finally given Hogan severe brain damage. What do you think Hogan" Do they want to see you get the 1 2 3"" To me this kills the finish of any match he is in and also, dare I say it twice in one column, makes pro wrestling look obviously FAKE, and now I have read Vince McMahon has signed him to a WWE contract. When I read that on a few sites one memory came to mind, in the last ten years there has been one clause in every contract either with WCW or WWE that clearly stated before his contract expired Hogan would be given a world title run. If WWE gives Hogan another title run, it will be the biggest slap in the face, no scratch that, it will be the biggest kick in the balls to all the guys in the back who have busted their asses night after night for years. I'm sorry but facts are facts. I still respect and love the guy for all the great memories, but his time in the ring has past. If Hogan came back on a permanent bases in any other way I would be totally for it, but the guy is done when it comes to being a full time professional wrestler.

Another lingering question that this incident also provided, "Where does this leave HBK once his run with Hogan is over"" I don't think anyone can answer that one except unfortunately Vince McMahon. I just hope that this move does not cause HBK to commit career suicide. Personally I think the obvious match for HBK at SummerSlam should have been the rubber match against Kurt Angle. I myself would have spiced things up by making the rubber match 2 out of 3 falls. So on one hand we have a banged up, one foot in the grave Hulk Hogan vs. HBK and on the other hand we have Kurt Angle vs. HBK in a 2 out of 3 fall classic, one for the ages, a match to raise the bar and all the other clichés. That's a tough choice for this WWE fan. NOT!! Overall this was a bad move on WWE's part to turn HBK heel simply to book another big match involving Hogan. Especially now that RAW has Angle and also has decided to turn Jericho heel. There is just simply no need to turn HBK heel as well. Bad move Vince, you're really out doing yourself this year.

Now I would love to take a moment and comment on the ever popular WWE 2005 "Diva Search". God may have not given me the brains to be a doctor, but thank God he gave me common sense. Every time Coach puts a microphone in front of one of these bimbos I am amazed at what comes out and by no means is that a compliment. Also did anyone catch Sgt. Slaughter's boot camp" I bet all the bimbos' families were proud to be related to them on that night. Did anyone catch Cameron's performance" To quote Joey Styles, "OH MY GOD" Zach Gowen could have done a better jumping jack and the kid's got one friggin leg. If WWE is trying to prove why not to have a 2006 "Diva Search", they are clearly going in the right direction so far.

Now I am in no way a prude, but many young kids watch RAW every week and let's be honest. The way the WWE has portrayed the 2005 "Diva Search" on RAW is nothing but soft core porn. This makes the WWE sink to a level I thought it could never go just in hopes to make a few extra bucks and forget about the message they are sending to their younger fans. It also is turning each RAW broadcast into a circus like atmosphere and not a professional wrestling atmosphere like it should be. The main product of the WWE is wrestling. Isn't it" In my last column I ripped on JR and Lawler a bit, but now I must give them credit were credit is do. How these two veterans of the sport who both have a very high level of respect and love for the business can sit through fifteen minutes of pure diarrhea and make it seem like gold I will never know" My hats off guys, I know I couldn't do it.

On to the recent releases by the WWE. I think it's safe to say that many of them were out of left field and took many fans by surprise. I would love to comment on each release, but then this column would turn into a book. I will comment on a few starting off with The Dudley's. The release of Bubba Ray and D-Von has put the final nail in the coffin for me regarding tag team wrestling in the WWE. How Vince can let the Dudley's go and keep a team like The Heart Throbs I will never ever understand. I think that analogy pretty well sums it up that Vince cares more about his hair then that of the WWE tag team divisions. I'm still somewhat speechless on this move.

The tag team division took a big hit with The Dudley's release, but that pales in comparison compared to how hard the cruiserweights were hit from the releases. Spike Dudley, Akio, Shannon Moore and Kidman are all gone. I don't care what anybody thinks, these guys were all great wrestlers. It's not their fault that the writers either came up stumped on a storyline for them or in Moore's case made him out to be a side show freak. All four were very capable of putting on great matches if only WWE gave them a chance to do what they do best. That's why WWE hired these guys in first place. Isn't it" The one person that WWE did give a great chance to and the guy never dropped the ball once was Kidman. Kidman by far is the biggest shocker for me up to this point. Here is a man that is arguably the greatest wrestler to ever hold the WWE or the WCW Cruiserweight Title's and WWE simply lets him go with a phone call. That's real class shown by the WWE. Since his wife Torrie Wilson so far is still employed by WWE, I guaranty some juicy gossip in the weeks to come from this release.

One guy I feel extremely bad for is actually still fortunate enough to have a job with WWE. Paul London right now should be living a dream holding the WWE Cruiserweight Title, but instead he's living a nightmare. I can't remember the last time London had a one on one match on SmackDown that started and ended in some clean fashion and not by some bullshit run in. Two weeks in a row WWE advertised London vs. Chavo Guererro, or should I say Kerwin Right. (This gimmick will go far. You hit another home run with this one Vince, YOU MORON!!!) What could have been two very good and memorable matches are each given two minutes of ring time before three chimps on a lawnmower make their way out. Now don't get me wrong, I'm excited to have these three in the WWE, but this is the best the Billion Dollar Moron could come up with to introduce them to the WWE fans. Are you kidding me" Everyone who read my last column knows how much I absolutely love the cruiserweights, but it sickens me to see how they are portrayed week after week after week on SmackDown. I would not be surprised by next year to see that the WWE Cruiserweight Title is a thing of the past because it is very clear Vince is putting every drop he has into the heavyweights and disregarding everything else for both RAW and SmackDown.

Another major division right now Vince is clearly putting on the back burner is the Women's. If any current champion in all of WWE suffered an injury were you would not see them for at least a month, in this case longer then that, that champion would be stripped and a match would occur to crown a new champion and life would go on. So how come that hasn't happened yet to Trish Stratus" Now I'm not knocking Trish, I think she is a great athlete and has helped define the overall look of women's wrestling for the better, but facts are facts. Wrestling is a dangerous sport and the girl got hurt. Don't let us go for months without seeing the Women's title on RAW because of it. There are a handful of women WRESTLERS out there, please notice the word wrestlers, that could bring back the WWE women's division as a great staple for RAW like it was only a year ago. Why Vince hasn't gone out and scooped them up is yet another question to add to the list.

I did say in the beginning that I was only going to "BASH" the WWE 90 %. Since I just expressed my feelings on the women's division, let me now say something positive. I would like to publicly thank Vince McMahon for bringing back the woman I fell in love with back in 2002. Victoria, God I've missed you. Finally the WWE did a great thing and took away the Prozac bringing back to me the psychotic bitch I grew to love. Victoria totally shone as a heel. Her matches were great as well as her interviews. Seeing her go from that unmistakable, you screw with me you die look, to all smiles made me sick. Seeing her involved in those stupid best bikini bits or lingerie bits disgusted me. It was like I was reading a children's book and deciding which one doesn't belong. Victoria is a pro wrestler and not a bimbo to parade around the ring in bra and panties. Unfortunately the reincarnation of Victoria is bitter sweet for me because the only person she can work with right now is Christy. I compare seeing these girls one on one to seeing the Boston Red Sox vs. a local high school team. It's painfully obvious who is the better wrestler.

Since I am in the complimenting mood still I will issue one more. Thank you Vince McMahon for bringing back Brock Lesnar, in the long run this man will be the future of the WWE, count on it. In April I did a piece on Lesnar simply named, "WWE Needs Lesnar Back!" It was posted back on April 9 and is a must read for any wrestling fan, trust me. I can easily say in my short time here at OWW it was this column that brought out the most negativity I have seen for one of my columns so far. Underneath the column itself most of the feedback you will see is about 50/50, but 90% of the emails I received from this piece were clearly negative. People said I was nuts, crazy and one guy even called me a moron. Me, Phil T a moron, I was in shock. They also said Vince would never be crazy enough to bring back Lesnar. There is an old saying my friends, "He who laughs last laughs best, HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! and HA!" Unfortunately the Lesnar return I have been waiting for and told the world would happen since WrestleMania 20 is forever tarnished due to the recent releases of great WWE Superstars.

Two more releases I have to talk about that fit my last statement to a T are Charlie Haas and Jackie Gayda. These two were both tailored made for the pro wrestling industry. How Vince can waist time and money with the 2005 "Diva Search" in a hope of finding that next great beauty when all along he has a piece of ass like Jackie is just yet another mind boggler for me. Charlie Haas on the other hand is just a sin. He was filet mignon and Stephanie McMahon portrayed him as bologna. When Haas and Benjamin were the Worlds Greatest Tag Team, they both backed up that name match after match. I'm not saying Haas is better then Benjamin, but he is a hell of a lot better then half the guys on SmackDown currently. Now the happy newly married couple is gone just because Stephanie McMahon can't tell between great wrestling talent and people who should be on the ring crew and not in the ring itself. Now Vince, I can understand 100% why you would like to keep your business in the family, but even Helen Keller could see how bad SmackDown has become over the last twelve months thanks to Stephanie. Don't get rid of the grade A+ ingredients on SmackDown, get rid of the chef.

Back to "The Next Big Thing", Vince McMahon is holding a royal straight flush with Lesnar and he knows it. My largest fear is that the Billion Dollar Moron will make Lesnar appear to be a pair of deuces like she has done with so many great pro wrestlers in the past, most of whom are gone because she had no idea how to use them. I know the McMahon's are going to want to bring Lesnar back like a house of fire and even this Lesnar fan knows that's the last thing to do. For the first two to three weeks the WWE should see how the crowds take to Lesnar again before making him a clear cut heel or face. They also absolutely can not put him immediately into a storyline with Batista. This would destroy the moral backstage even more, if that's possible, and will also put more heat on Lesnar himself. He is going to have enough trouble as it is getting back on the good sides of those in the locker room if he can do it at all. The WWE should wait until at least Survivor Series to have this unbelievable World Heavyweight Title match, mainly for the sake of the locker room. The moral in the SmackDown locker room is currently the lowest it has ever been and if they see a guy who walked out on them simply come back in like he never left. I think McMahon will be in serious trouble. Vince, take your time with this one. I said it back in April and I'll say it again, "Lesnar is going to make you a hell of a lot of money. Play it smart and don't rush it." Can you imagine these two bulls hooking up though, if you guys liked Triple H vs. Batista I guarantee you will absolutely love Lesnar vs. Batista. When this match happens, hopefully latter then sooner, it will be a sell out. For those of you that will continue to despise Lesnar only because of the walk out, "It's your loss." The guy made a mistake, we all do. No one can deny this guy was awesome week after week and month after month. If anyone wants to hear a true Lesnar fan speak on why WWE did the smartest thing by taking him back, well not condoning for a second the way Lesnar turned his back on the WWE and his fellow WWE Superstars. Check out my column I mentioned earlier, it changed some fan's views about Lesnar for the better.

My final two frustrations with the WWE I don't think anyone can argue with. First, who WWE is deciding to push with title runs and who not to; I have never seen it so bad as it is currently were titles are giving to WWE characters themselves and not WWE wrestlers who shine in the ring and God knows deserve it. Most of you will probably jump right on Cena after that statement, but I can not. After his match at Vengeance and seeing the old John Cena, he is now back in my good graces. That match was a pleasant surprise and I am pleased to say I really enjoyed it. I must also take a second to say Batista is currently the most deserving of anyone holding any gold in the WWE right now. His match at Vengeance was far better then I expected and I was very impressed with both guys. Triple H lost cleanly to the same guy in three main event PPV matches in a row with the World Heavyweight Title on the line in each one. My stock for Triple H jumped 100 points after Vengeance. Thank you Trips for pushing Batista so hard, the guy deserved it.

Back to guys that shouldn't even be in the WWE much less be wearing gold. Who is the WWE US Champion" Anyone else frustrated at this choice" The only reason Orlando Jordan was awarded the title is due to his association with JBL and that JBL was going against Cena at Wrestlemania, bottom line. Here you have a man whose win loss record so far was about 2 and 1000. You could also guaranty for the last year when you turned on SmackDown you would see Orlando Jordon getting his ass kicked and some shape or form. I can name ten guys in a matter of seconds who would make a better US Champion, but also deserve to hold the title much more then Jordan. Jordan is currently going on his fourth month as US Champion. For those of you that need to take a second and go puke feel free. Does the Billion Dollar Moron know how to produce a quality wrestling show or does she" Everyone knows my answer to that question.

My final frustration I know every old school fan will agree with. Nothing gets me more frustrated then seeing a great PPV or a great RAW, and then to see three to four weeks of pure crap. I apologize for not saying SmackDown but it has been months upon months since I saw an overall great SmackDown. Hopefully with the roster trades Stephanie will be able to produce a better SmackDown, only time will tell. Take the "Gold Rush" Tournament back in April. I thought the concept was good and the matches were great. Especially HBK vs. Benjamin, if Vince decides to have a match of the year pole for RAW and this match isn't picked I'll be amazed yet again. The last few weeks of RAW I thought were extremely weak match wise. I don't think anyone tuned solely into RAW to see Lita marry Edge a few weeks back. However, I will say that after seeing Lita in her wedding dress that I am willing and able to help her on her goal on becoming the biggest slut in the world. I'm just a phone call away. Damn she looked good!! So someone please explain to me why Vince will prove he has the talent to produce a blockbuster wrestling show and then chooses not to do it again for 3-4 weeks. This fact alone gets my blood heated more then anything.

Whew!! God I feel better. Some fans commented on my last column and probably more are thinking the same thing right now. "If you hate the WWE so much, why do you watch it"" My answer is simple, "I was born a wrestling fan and I will die a wrestling fan. If that means currently I have to watch hours upon hours of crap just to see one solid match. I'll do it every time." Those of you that are able to watch current wrestling shows other then WWE, I am extremely jealous. I either can watch WWE or throw in an old wrestling tape, those are my choices. Well next time you guys see me it will be old school again. I will be giving props to my first ever favorite wrestler and former WWF Intercontinental and World Heavyweight Champion. Who could it be" Here's a big clue, he won his first taste of WWF gold in under 60 seconds. Till then, hope you guys enjoyed the column. Peace.

by Phil T...


ThEKaYFaBeDKiD wrote:
If you think you feel better, well im glad that someone finaly feels as strongly twoards this product (if we can even call it that) as I do. Although I cant say I completely agree with Batista holding the strap ( not that I dont like him I do , I just think HHH carried him through every match which was even more obvious if anyone saw GAB two nights ago). Vince has completely turned the value of every belt in that company to the equivelant of my early morning concoctions left at the bottom of my toilet bowl. Last night we see John Cena vs Carlito. I cant believe you would have two champs wrestle each other on free tv. Hell Hogan vs Warrior was the mainevent at Wrestle Mania 6 at the Skydome. Even though they were both top draws at the time, the point is you would never see two champs battling unless it was on PPV.

On the topic of Hogan as much of a mark I am for his stuff he is being completely over used in the sense (and you made this point to which I applaud you...clap clap) the shock value is over. Its a shame kids watching this program will be scarred with visons of an old, beat up wrestler who doesnt take bumps. WWE has absolutely no direction and I dont even know if we can call it wrestling any more. Next time anyone gets a chance I want to you to dust off the old stop watch grandma Shelly gave you for Christmas back in the 5th grade and time how much wrestling you actualy see stoping at either every commercial break from a match and/or when ever they go to the next segment after a match. If you can total more than one hour Id be shocked. Message to Vince: if I want porn, soft porn, or any t&a for that matter its only a harddrive away for me and millions of other people. The Diva Search is a complete waste of my time and to be honest it offends me that after being a credit to your success you reward me after all these years with hot dog contests and worked nipple slips. The company last time I checked was called WWE. World WRESTLING Entetainment my a%#.

Call me a "smart mark" or whatever these "smarter marks" like to call people like me , I know what works and what doesnt. Why" Because I am the consumer to this so called product. I have been for 22 years and I think im credible enough to make that assumption of what works and what doesnt. It will never be like the old days but damn it lie to me Vince and attempt to make me believe. Oh wait you have done that with a 400 lbs monster named Big Visc. who has a mohawk, some odd fetishes for humping grown men and best of all he hails from Harlem. As a matter of fact people I think he sold out the Apollo one night. Are you kidding me" Is this a rib Vincent" Being from Brooklyn I can garen damn tee you there is noone from Harlem who even closely resembles Viscera. I can go on and on for hours why that company is in turmoil but heck im not a columnist. I should be though. Bottom line is folks, can I realy be angry" I mean as I leave off think about it. Who chooses to tune in week in and week out. Me. I can only realy blame myself. I can only blame everyone else who also tunes in to this garbage because we can simply change the channel or not tune in at all. As long as we do , they have no reason to change. Damn it excuse me and all of us (well maybe not everyone) for having just that tad bit of hope that I might actualy get to see wrestling. Kayfabe era for life ! Thank you for your time.
C.N. wrote:
I couldn't agree more. And C'mon who doesn't love the Warrior Phil" Anyway you should be applauded on the way you wrote this article. Vince doesn't know what matches to book or who to push anymore. Best example...One of my favorite wrestlers and everyone's favorite "cult hero" Matt Hardy. The guy became a bigger star when his girlfriend cheated on him than his great performances in the ring. Well I guess he'll get his push someway. Maybe Christian, Shelton Benjamin and those no names on Smackdown that get "zero" credit...what are there names...O YEAH BENOIT AND EDDIE GUERRERO!!! Maybe they should bring personal tragedy into the "work" of pro wrestling because the writers sure don't use their talent right. Great job Phil...
Kevin Roberts wrote:
Great column Phil. I think people get 'negative' and 'realistic' confused most of the time. I love the WWE, and I have for years. But let's keep it real people. There are some very good wrestlers who don't have jobs now for reasons that are beyond me. I thought Phil made an excellent point on that, especially on Charlie Haas and The Dudleys. However, The Hearthrobs could open the door for a Rico return (wishful thinking), who was also a good wrestler that was let go for no apparent reason. Maybe they could bring back some of those WWE/ECW guys like The Dudleys and Rhyno, and include others like Axl Rotten, and re-creating the defunct hardcore division and actually make it hardcore and not stupid (adding New Jack would'nt hurt either). On the subject of HBK and Hogan. I love the Hulkster, but lets be honest, he can't compete at the level he once did and who once a guy lay on the mat for a whole minute while Hogan parades around the ring BEFORE he does the world's ugliest leg drop. Is HBK becoming a "legend killer" " if so, why not give Ric Flair one last big push. Can Piper still wrestle " LOL. Moving on, Kerwin White sucks, this will be Chavo's undoing unless Chavo Sr. comes back and beats some sense into him in a "Father vs. Son" match. I'm not trying to step on creative's toes, but I lets see something besides Edge and Lita's public displays of affection. That's corny Adam. Bring back women's wrestling and make The Fabulous Moolah proud (I hear Cheerleader Melissa is a good wrestler). On Brock Lesnar, bring him along slowly. He knows he made some mistakes. Let him apologize like Ricky Williams. The new-and-improved Lesnar vs. Batista fued is the stuff of legends. Find something to do with un-used talent instead of just cutting them. It's not fair to them. Last but not least, some one please stop Vis from doing that 'riding' move (although I thought the midgets were hilarious), give Chris Masters a legimate fued (Big Show maybe), please let the Evenflow DDT be Carlito's finisher.
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
Now here you are, saying how baaaad the new WWE title is. I thought that its the prestige for the title that counts and not what it looks like. Since you are such a "die hard fan" you shouldnt care about what it looks like. Although, i agree with you on Hogan, but then again you are an HBK fan so maybe you need a reality knock that there is two people whos time is done in wrestling... You said it, its about money but if you think it wasnt 10 years ago because you liked the product more, you are naive my friend. Those cruiserweights where overload so they needed to be dumped. Only one of those wrestlers you mentioned, Billy Kidman should have stayed. Now since this reply has been on a negative form i would like to agree on something as well.

I think the quality of US title and IC title dropped in one year dramaticly. Last year, we had one of the best IC champions ever, Randy orton bringing some of the best matches in the hole year. US side we had Cena not so impressive but at least he was over. Now we have Carlito and Jordan. These men have many things common. They are boring in mic and in-ring. Last but not least, i would like to take a quess on who you are gonna make a column about. Kevin Nash or Bruno Sammartino.
Barker wrote:
I agree with you. WWe raw and smackdown shows have been weak latly. raw has a crappy GM who gets involved in the show and makes the show crappy. the gm is suppose to make matches not let superstars run the show. vince needs to go and straighten eric out. WWe need to get ride of the bimbos and bring back all the female wrestlers, and do more with the females. They (wwe) needs to bring back the tag team divisions. wwe was cool but latly the are lacking in the writting department, they need to get back some of the other writters that made the show so great. if they keep this reality thing going then they need to stay away from racisim and other affiars that will end up like the Hassen gimick. your frustrations are true in is going on in vinces head or is he even involved in any decision making anymore. get ride of promos and there will be more wrestling time. get ride of these whinny losers gimicks like jbl, y2j, hhh, eric bischoff. let the glory of raw and smackdown come back to light the fires in the fans again.
Mattmosesg1 wrote:
Hey man, good one again! But relax you should be able to watch TNA come this fall! I myself cannot wait to see something else again on a regular basis! I also know what you are saying about people telling you "if ya don't like it so much watch something else" I have been watching pro wrestling for about 25 years now and will continue to watch but the WWE just plain sucks these days. before the last draft lottery I thought RAW was good and SMACKDOWN sucked.....now I think they both suck! "the great American bash"...was more like the GOOD American bash and was a slap in the face to the name of that PPV(god bless WCW). Bringing back the "hulkster" is an obvious attempt to bring in some money and get people too watch! well for this fan of 25 years it sucks I am without a doubt.....a HOGAN HATER! always was and always will be! You say his skills are not there anymore, I say they were never there (as Shawn pointed out on RAW 7/25/05). I don't want to turn this into a HOGAN bashing rant cause I could go on for days! But really I think the WWE has gone to the crapper since the Monday night wars ended! and the only reason WWE was so good during the "wars" was because it had to be. I really miss the old days when WWF and Old school NWA were on over the weekend and you could watch both of them! I remember liking NWA much more than WWF but because I was a real fan I would watch both and could not wait to see them again the next week (after this past RAW 7/25/05 I think I might just record them from now on and get past all the crap the next day).....anyway man I see eye to eye on just about everything you wrote and I can not wait to start watching TNA every SATURDAY ON SPIKE TV in the FALL and hopefully this will lead into another TNA show of some sort.....peace,MOSES
Adam wrote:
Wow, you really do bash the WWE about 90%! What keeps you coming back" I guess it's the same thing that keeps us all coming back; we're all marks that want to see the WWE be the best they can be! I do have to agree with you on a lot of the things you state.

# 1) Turning HBK heel: While I do like him better as a heel, there is no reason to turn him for one ppv when you already have mainevent heels in Triple H (who will probably be coming back as a face), Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, and Edge as only Michaels or one of the other heels only lose later. Like you said, what is he going to do after his Hogan match" Besides Cena, there is really no over faces for him to feud with except for maybe RVD who will probably be stuck contending for the IC title when he returns.

# 2) Diva contest: It's a complete waste of time, plain and simple, but until the fans stop tuning in and give the segment a bad ratings, Vince will continue on with it. Diva winner # 1, Christy, hardly wrestles so besides T and A, they serve no purpose. Like every guy, its' nice to see good looking girls, but at least have them be able to wrestle like Victoria, Trish and Lita. I mean a division must be more than 3 people, which leads me ...

# 3) Wasted titles/Releases: Besides the 3-women Woman's division, there is the 2-tag Raw tag team division with the Champs who are never on Raw and the Heartthrobs. Smackdown isn't much better with the new short-term Champs, MNM, and Doring/Roadkill, but at least they seem to make whoever are the champs a regular feature on the show. I guess since the diva contest gets better ratings, the Raw tag titles are kicked to the curb. Doesn't it make sense if for a title to have at least 5 competitors to make it even have a division" I think this should be a golden rule for wrestling titles and divisions. Another wasted title, is the U.S. as the whole internet community is probably in agreement with you that Jordon is a waste. Unlike the IC title, the US is hardly defended on tv which makes no one care about it. However, a guy like Mysterio or Christian could quickly breathe life back in that title. I also agree with you in that Haas and Jackie should have been kept, maybe moved to Raw to add to the IC and Women's divisions. However, I do have to disagree with you on the cruiserweight division and the releases. While Kidman was a mistake, I'm not saddened by the other departures and Chavo is like Rey in that he has done it all in the cruiserweight division, though the new gimmick is doomed already. The mexicools interrupting the title matches only adds to the division as the WWE is at least giving some air time to some cruiserweights. How often does that happen" Hopefully, it will be only a matter of time before we see London in some good matches with those three. With Kazarian, Nunzio, and Daivari, at least there are some guys to round out the division. The cruiserweight division is better than the U.S., Women and both tag divisions though the Champion needs to be regularly featured on Smackdown to make the title mean something.

# 4) Lesnar being back means money, especially Lesnar vs Batista. Plus Lesnar is good # 1 heel in comparison to JBL, who cannot lace Lesnar's boots when it comes to wrestling.
chilly morrison wrote:
I just finished reading Phil T's article "RAW Frustration" and I am surprised by the low standard OWW must have when choosing writers. I have thought since the moment I first found OWW that it was by far the best wrestling site on the net but this article was just pure foolishness. I agreed with almost all of the points that were made but the way they were made was like listening to a 15 year old trying to make a point and then going to far with it after the point was made. Yes this is a horrible time for WWE and ultimately it is Vince's fault since he is the decision maker but to refer to this man (who basically invented this industry and is responsible for Phil T having a job) as the "Billion Dollar Moron" is demeaning to your website much more than it is to Vince himself who will probably never read it. Also it is clear that firing Haas would probably not be a god move in the long run but lets face it we said the same thing last year when the fired Rico, Billy Gunn etc.
zels III wrote:
Yea the Ultimate Warrior was pretty awesome! But I hated him after Wrestlemania VI. I'm a huge Hogan fan and it was awesome to see him old and decrepit against the most electrifiing man in sports, and in entertainment in the Icon vs. Icon match in 02'. But yea, his swan song should've been a LONG time ago. I liken it to seeing Jordan, Magic, Rice, Tyson and in some cases Clemens retiring or eluding to it and keep playing long after their skills have deteriorated. Now it's reduced to seeing 2 old men (Michaels included) wrestling at 1/4 speed, trying not to truly hurt each other. With that said, Hell Yea! I'm going to watch it! Because deep down there's still that hope (probably from saying my prayers and eating my vitamins) that I will truly see something spectacular (hopefully somewhat like TNA 'yeah right'). Raw vs. Smackdown It is unfortunate to see RAW go down the tubes, SMACKDOWN pulling it down with it. I always thought SMACKDOWN sucked but especally after Brock left. SMACKDOWN was like the J.V. to the Varsity which is (or was) RAW (outgunned and outclassed). But there was something about it that was appealing, (for me at least) which was attitude. It had a roughness to it like, "yeah, we know we suck but we don't give a F*&K!" And I think most of that was attributed to Eddie and Cena. Yea I know that JBL was supposed to epitomize "the establishment" but if he was on RAW, he would've stood second tier to Sir Willian Regal and Eugene. But I remember at Royal Rumble when SMACKDOWN and RAW battled each other, there was a surprising number pro-SMACKDOWN crowds there. And when Orton (a face at the time) lost he received a bunch of cheers from them. Which I thought was funny at the time because the heel (Triple H) was supposed to get boos. And watching those SMACKDOWN misfits square-off against the RAW superstars was surprisingly appealing too. Now with the switching of the champions there is a new aire about both shows. Cena doesn't seem to fit with the more refined, polished nature of RAW, and Batista doesn't seem to fit with the rough, attitude of SMACKDOWN. I mean seeing him in a 3 piece suit in that atmosphere made him look more like a heel then anything else. And who's he going to fight" JBL a bunch of times like Eddie, and Cena before him"..."crap." I already know how it's going to go, talk/talk/talk...little wrestling...interference...use of weapon...JBL wins. Now let's get Brock in here shall we" I got an idea, let JBL have the title and face whoever, let the title diminish, so we can go on to see Brock and Batista win out on all viewer polls on what matches were the best. Cruiserweight/Women's Championships Yep, I it is unfortunate that both the Cruiserweight and Women's titles are going the way of the Hardcore Championship but lets put our business hats on shall we. It probably costs the company alot of money to keep an expanded stock of wrestlers, (including salary, benefits, and travel etc.) 'if they get any' and since the company is publicly traded, you always want to keep a profit (especially in lean times). And what usually goes first, since it's usually the highest expense, is wages. Now he (McMahon) could've went the different route and tried to enhance the product. But that would've meant spending more money to make money. So he cut his loses. I personally feel that the championships that will be next in the guillotine, if not these ones, will be the tag team ones. I mean how many "teams" are there" 4 or 5 tops" Not just singles paired together. Also, to develop and keep talent for one championship, to make it not only interesting but stocked so that you could develop rivalries would be costly. Assuming they are not a bust...I'm looking at you Warrior! But if you insist on keeping the characters, drop a title. I suggest possibly keeping both Heavyweight titles, Dropping the US or Intercontinental (more than likely the US since it's the newcomer). Dropping a Tag Team and keep both the Cruiser and Women's. Hopefully they could develop the Cruiser like the X division on TNA, but I doubt it. And if you like Bra and Panties, make it interesting, for the WWE Women's Championship, so we could get both Hard Wrestling and Soft Core action. On a side note... Here's to TNA may you have a great future on Spike and hopefully begin a new chapter in the Monday Night Wars!!!
Leonard Baucom wrote:
Overall, I must say I agree with most of your points. I too would love to see the WWE get back to where they were, innovative, original, and above all else, entertaining. But one thing you have to take into account is that wrestling is a flow. This flow has high points, (Hogan-Warrior, Austin-Rock, Angle-Lesnar) but there are always low points (Mabel-Diesel, HHH-Scott Steiner, Mark Henry-Mae Young). Vince, and for that matter, all promoters, have never had a 100% success rate. A lot of booking is just throwing something against the wall to see if it will stick. Look at the Undertaker for example. You have a character who started as a "dead man" or "zombie" or whatever, who got power from an urn that his manager held. On paper, this is a HORRIBLE idea, but of course, the fans bought into it, and a decade later, he's still around. Don't get me wrong, I hate the bad stuff too. I've NEVER been a fan of anything involving Viscera, but I was somewhat entertained with his "affair" with Lillian. However, they throw that to the side, and now he dry-humps men. No, can't say that was a good idea. And as far as the Diva search goes, of course the whole idea is an insult to wrestling fans. And yes, I hate it with a passion. But at least this year, with the exception of the INANE hot dog eating contest last week, the events have been somewhat interesting, and even, dare I say it, physical. Compare to last year, where they ate pie, sold us ice cream, and seduced Kamala. Sure, I'd take no Diva search at all, but at least this year the contest is a little more acceptable. As far as your comments on the world title being a sell out because of Cena's new "spinner" title: Give me a break! Are you serious""" Do you not recall Austin's smoking skull belt, or the Rock's bull title, or Ultimate Warriors pastel colored titles (although those may have been limited to his IC titles, can't remember his world title). This is NOT a new thing in the WWE/WWF. And with regards to the cruiserweights, look at it this way: I love the wrestling, without a doubt, but with a few exceptions in WCW, (Eddie, Jericho vs Malenko) there have NEVER been good storylines with them. I have NO idea why, and would LOVE to see the cruiserweights get an angle the level of Austin/McMahon, but so far, haven't seen it. Look at the ratings for Velocity, (which is mainly a cruiserweight show) for proof of how much the mainstream fan cares for them. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE them, but are you suggesting that Vince should say, "Well, screw 75% of the people who watch my shows, the other 25% want to see the cruiserweights, so let's show them!" In a way, we are cursed. Of course we want more and more people to watch wrestling, but the problem is, the casual wrestling "fan" wants to see Hogan wrestle. (I have NO idea why!) The casual "fan" doesn't respect amazing wrestling from guys like Kidman, Charlie Haas, and Shannon Moore, because to them, those are the "little guys" and they have "no personalities. So Vince can either say, sure, I'm fine with going down in ratings and losing the casual fans, cause at least the real fans will be happy, or he can say "let me pander to the fan who may or may not watch, and try to make them interested, because the "real" fans will watch, even if a two hour show is 1 and ½ hours of Viscera and Diva Search. Lastly, on a side note about Shannon Moore, your comment regarding the writing team turning him into a "circus sideshow" was not their idea. According to Matt Hardy's own website, Shannon came up with the Prince of Punk gimmick, as he called it, to try to get over with the fans. Sure, Vince approved it, and sure, the writing team would have come up with NOTHING on their own for him, but this gimmick, like it or not, was his attempt to bring in the fans. As for your next column, I can only assume you're referring to the Ultimate Warrior as the man you'll profile, referencing his beating Honky-Tonk Man for the IC title in about 30 seconds. As far as Warrior goes, I have no problems with you being a fan of his.
Krippes316G4 wrote:
I don't like john cena I don't like his new belt and 69 percent of me doesn't like raw any more. I can just pitcher vinny Mac now "those crazy kids like hip-hop I'll put it on my show and make money!" The WWE championship is crap it looks like a freaking turntable. Why the hell does it spin" Why" Why" I remember when the championship used to mean you were the best and you worked hard to win that belt. I remember Chris Benoit cry after he won the world heavy weight championship. I remember the ultimate warrior worked hard to get the belt, and wore it with pride. The WWE title used to have history spawning back to the 50's. I thought cena knew what it was to be a champion. I guess not.
dropthatslurpee wrote:
First of all, I don't really understand why people can point the finger at Vince McMahon for changing the structure of his company. If his polls return with Bra and Panties Matches leading as the "Most Anticipated match" of they're Pay-Per-View, The Great American Bash, (according to WWE.Com Poll of the Day), then, as a business man, he should be inclinded to keep peddling women into his business. Sure, some real wrestling fans (which I now no-longer consider myself) would get pissed off, and that's fine, but they seem to disregard the overwhelming number of people who go to see the PPV, live, or by order, who WANT to see the ladies. Who's to say what is "quality" entertainment" Maybe you're right, maybe it's pure wrestling, but maybe it's the majority's opinion, the ones who don't read this website, who knows more about quality. Not that there's anything wrong with what you're saying, it's just that the other side, and the reasoning behind Vince's actions need to be addressed. He doesn't make that money by pissing people off, right" So, don't blame Cena, don't blame Vince, blame the fans who increase the ratings during the RAW Diva search.

In your second paragraph, you mention that Hulk Hogan has no place wrestling with Shawn Micheals. That is not "the truth", that is your opinion. The truth is, that they have the right to be there, as long as Vince wants them there. And the reason he wants them there, obviously, is not for a quality wrestling match. It's for a match for the fans who really, really want to see the match, regardless of quality. Again, based on the information above, we know that the average fan, the majority, the people who give Vince his ratings, and pay for the WWE roster's salary through ticket and PPV sales, are rarely interested in high-quality matches. He booked the match, because that's what most people want to see. That's the truth. It doesn't matter how old and worthless Hogan has become in the ring (there's no arguing that one), because, again, the WWE is about entertainment, just like any other television show. Who knows" Perhaps something good will result in HBK's heel turn" If they have a woman on Smackdown with a groth on her face, I wouldn't put much past the WWE.

I already addressed the Diva Search, but I agree with you. It is very demoralizing, but, at the same time, it's what people want. If he were to put a stop to it, he would gain an audience, but most likely lose a larger one.

The same can be said about the loss of the cruiser devision, and the tag devision. Those teams, for the most part, rely on skill, rather than self-promotion. Apparently, it isn't what people want to see. Trust me, if it was, we'd have another Tough Enough season, Heat and Velocity would be watched by the average fan, and etc. Unfortunately, it's not what they want. Vince wants to keep most of his fans happy, the ones who spend the bucks going to live events, wearing a shirt they got from shopzone. It really is a shame, but it's the fans' fault. It's much easier for someone to pay a woman a little sum of money to shake her ass and do jumping jacks, than it is to scout for talent, train them, and then offer them a large contract, and end up with less ratings. It doesn't seem appealing to keep wrestlers around, at least, not to the business man.

I agree with you about Brock, and Charlie/Jackie. The Creative team didnt know what to do with Haas, because Haas didn't really have an ego. He was there to work. He was there to wrestle. So, thats what he did. The fans, once again, don't like anyone who is just there to wrestle (even Beniot now has a gimmick. He went from the stone-faced unknown wrestler to the chisled vet who loves to make people tap). Charlie will be happier elsewhere, and anywhere would be happy/lucky to have him.

In closing, I am glad you are a wrestling fan; the funny thing is, that you are upset because the WWE is lacking in the production of it. As someone who can't watch any other wrestling show, I think that you, if you really want to watch wrestling, is to cough up the money to buy a DVD of TNA, ROH, or whatever suits your fancy. After all, they wont get feedback unless they get money, right" That's the entire reason why you're getting RAW frustration in the first place.
mike dudzinski wrote:
Great column man, I agree with everything you say other then the whole Batista deserving to be champ. I definitely think Brock Lesnar deserves another chance and on smackdown! he could put on alot of good matches. but with Batista". it would be like Brock Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg all over again and the thought of that just gives me night nightmares. I agree hogan should not be fighting anymore and him vs HBK will be horrible compared to what Kurt Angle vs HBK could do again. My question is why does Vince enjoy shoving the same matches down our throat week in and week out. I cant stand watching edge vs Kane. how many weeks in a row have they fought. Its the same match every week with the same thing happening each time Matt hardy comes out the crowd and its just getting old. Now i don't agree with hogan continuing to fight but why road warrior animal would come back with heidienreich just totally disrespects the road warriors. Plus the fact they won the tag team gold proves how bad this tag team division is. Why would they take it off MNM in the first place i thought they were a pretty good tag team with lots of talent. I guess they needed something to do with heidienreich and they figured Animal was washed up so it would be the perfect tag team.

In closing i just want to say that Summerslam is going to be horrible all the matches that are gonna be on there we have already seen at least once except for the hogan vs HBK match which will be only about 10 minutes long because hogan will probably fall apart if it goes any longer then that. Oh yea and one more thing this JBL Batista feud needs to end JBL cannot carry Batista like Triple H could.
Earthquakesteven wrote:
Well Phil, great column. The stuff you talked about is about 95 percent true, at least! Hogan coming back, BIG MISTAKE! to those of you who say," Yeah, he can't wrestle like he used to," you are wrong. Hogan never had any wrestling abilities. He had great moments like bodyslamming Andre but the rest of that match was NOTHING compared to Steamboat and Savage. But I'd have to disagree with your HBK comment. Shawn is a great heel and I'm sure that we'll see some matches like Michaels vs Benjamin, (a rivalry this time) RVD, Cena, ( of course) and Michaels vs Eugene. Yeah that last one sounds weird but if Michaels wins the WWE belt it might be fun to watch. But back to Hogan. If anyone else says Hogan is better than Flair they are out of their ever lovin' minds. Flair can wrestle, draw, and talk on the mike. Hogan can hardly do any of those at this point in time. So please Vince and WWE staff put Flair in a real rivalry and drop Hogan. That brings me to my last comment. Way too many people blame the McMahons. Everything is not their ideas. Sure the McMahons are the ones who lead the WWE but others like road agents and writers try to come up with storylines and then run it by the McMahons but ever bad storyline isn't Stephanie's and Vince's fault. Could they have vetoed it" Yes but they can also be persuaded. So please stop blaming Vince and 'The Billion $$ Idiot" Stephanie. Oh, well but aside from that great column.
Steven Brooks wrote:
Well Phil, great column. The stuff you talked about is about 95 percent true, at least! Hogan coming back, BIG MISTAKE! to those of you who say," Yeah, he can't wrestle like he used to," you are wrong. Hogan never had any wrestling abilities. He had great moments like bodyslamming Andre but the rest of that match was NOTHING compared to Steamboat and Savage. But I'd have to disagree with your HBK comment. Shawn is a great heel and I'm sure that we'll see some matches like Michaels vs Benjamin, (a rivalry this time) RVD, Cena, ( of course) and Michaels vs Eugene. Yeah that last one sounds weird but if Michaels wins the WWE belt it might be fun to watch. But back to Hogan. If anyone else says Hogan is better than Flair they are out of their ever lovin' minds. Flair can wrestle, draw, and talk on the mike. Hogan can hardly do any of those at this point in time. So please Vince and WWE staff put Flair in a real rivalry and drop Hogan. That brings me to my last comment. Way too many people blame the McMahons. Everything is not their ideas. Sure the McMahons are the ones who lead the WWE but others like road agents and writers try to come up with storylines and then run it by the McMahons but ever bad storyline isn't Stephanie's and Vince's fault. Could they have vetoed it" Yes but they can also be persuaded. So please stop blaming Vince and 'The Billion $$ Idiot" Stephanie. Oh, well but aside from that great column.
Tina Addair wrote:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading "RAW Frustration" by Phil T.. Most of the points which were made are things I have found myself saying as of late.

I would like to address some of the comments made in replies regarding the Divas and Diva Search. While it was reported that ratings usually go up during the time the Diva Search is airing, I feel this proves nothing. Common sense will tell you that this ratings boost comes from nothing more than "channel surfers". They are flipping through the channels...they run upon a bunch of scantilly clad women...and they stop and watch it. These "channel surfers" are not wrestling fans, they do not watch wrestling, attend wrestling events, or buy wrestling-related merchandise. As far as "poll" results on the WWE website are concerned, I'm sure most of the people who bother to vote in these polls are young boys who have nothing better to do. It's no huge feat to repeatedly vote in these polls, which I'm sure occurs, thereby making the results inaccurate and unrepresentative of the majority of viewers. I would go so far as to say a lot of the kids who vote in these polls aren't even allowed to watch RAW by their parents, much less watch one of the PPVs.

Phil is absolutely correct that there is plenty of great female talent which could rebuild a strong Women's Division, if WWE were so inclined to take advantage. Most people I know enjoy a good, solid women's match, and many of the women are excellent mic-workers capable of carrying on very entertaining feuds.
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