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Mr. Tito's last column :(


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За тези отвас, които посещават по-често www.lordsofpain.net поствам тази "колона". Един от най-уважаваните кеч-журналисти на сайта се жени и поради това прекратява писането на почти ежедневните си статии... Следя неговите "писания" от 1999 насам и мога да заявя, че наистина ми е мъчно. В последната си статия той прави нещо като резюме на последните 8 години, в които е писал статиите си (той започва през Октомври 1998)....

The FINAL Wrath of Tito - Time to retire, thanks for everything!

Submitted by Mr. Tito on Monday, October 30, 2006 at 12:04 AM EST

Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye! Go ahead, get that chant started, for this is the FINAL edition of the Wrath of Tito. It's been a fun 8 years, I must say. I started off on October 26th, 2006, and if you'll remember, that was immediately after the epic battle between Hulk Hogan and the Warrior at Halloween Havoc 1998. I jumped into the internet fray just as WCW was beginning to go downhill and the WWE was starting to pull away. Very interesting time and I am a firm believer that I was one of the top internet columnists during the WWE's peak (fan signs, hit measures, etc. to prove that). I had a strong run as a daily columnist, even running up a streak that went well over a year (it was nice having lots of free time on my hands back then). Then, once I converted to a weekly columnist, I slowly hit skid row until last year when I really enjoyed writing about wrestling again.

It's been a fun road. I've met a lot of good readers and even got to talk to wrestlers that I admired through email. I've had wrestlers so compelled by my work that they'd personally attack me, and in one case, attempting to dig up personal information on me to actually confront me at a workplace. This came at writing wrestling for FREE on the internet. When your words ignite lots of online criticism and wrestlers taking it personal, you know that you've wrote some good stuff online.

First and foremost, my so-called success would be NOTHING without Calvin Martin, the webmaster of LordsofPain.net. When he hired me on October 25th, 2006, he hired me without having a single ounce of experience. Now granted, I quickly became a dependable columnist on my own, but his webpage gave me a great outlet. He organized the page well with the best news compilation around (still to this day) and great media for fans to download (videos, pictures, themes before the WWE clamped down). I merely joined a great webpage and thanks to his continued support, I had good success doing what I did.

Secondly, thanks to the readers. Even with a great webpage to post on, you guys kept reading. Even when I was clearly getting burned out from 2002-2004, you supported me, and at times, ignited a fire under my ass to revamp my columns heading into 2005. Thanks to the critics, as well. Your personal shots at me enabled more readership of my columns and I enjoyed proving you wrong, week in and week out. No such thing as bad publicity.

An additional thank you to Nick Evanish from Top Rope. I joined your webpage as a favor from you posting at LoP and from a different yet successful webpage, I grew a fanbase there. Sadly, my exit wasn't exactly handled the best, but I still get plenty of "I first read you at top-rope.com" every day.

Other odds and ends thank-you's... Thanks to Chris Dailey, who was always a good friend of the webpage and someone good for consulting. Jaymz for some good laughs and I'm proud that I always plugged your webpage, despite the insistance from readers about your content. Christopher Michaels, William Martinez, 2TX, and others for always providing great graphics for my columns or even personal requests outside of wrestling stuff. Thanks to "derman", for former assistant webmaster of LoP for his help early on. Thanks to the indy wrestling promotions, Black Diamond Wrestling and XWF Inc., for allowing me to help out and promote their shows. From creating webpages to providing wrestler entrance videos, I wanted to help boost those local wrestling promotions soooo bad! Thanks to those two, as well, for bringing in name wrestlers for me to meet and greet. Thanks to RichinKC for the huge book favor from DDP a few years ago as well as Scott Keith for sending in the review copies of his book. Thanks to Willygoat Valley Wrestling for providing me with many laughs and great shows. Thanks to LoPForums.com for being a great venue to vent and receive good column feedback. Thanks to Shawn Valloric/Bill Edgar on the WrestlePalooza.com Audio Show and the Shawn & Chase Radio Show for having me as a guest.

If I am forgetting a thank-you, my apologies...

My STRONG recommendation, though... Just because I'm leaving LordsofPain.net, that doesn't mean that you should abandon the webpage. We are still, in my mind, the best independently run webpage around. Best for news and views... Try out the remaining columnists and root them on. I know that I'm not the only reason you come to this webpage, for "no man is an island". If you are just loyal to my column, then tryout the other columns. You'd be amazed at what you're possibly missing out on. The columnists put a lot of time and effort into their columns and they are worth looking into.

Quick "Frequently Asked Questions", once again...

-Am I going to another webpage? NO!

-Will I post special columns at LoP? NO, but I may post on occasion at the LoPForums.com Columns Forum if I ever feel that urge.

Am I opening up my own wrestling webpage? NO WAY!

For continual contact with yours truly, due to demand, my BLOG will remain open. I'll post there on occasion if any readers would like to keep following me. I won't be writing wrestling columns there, though, as I'll just do what I do now and that's discuss whatever topics are on my mind.

This column, however, won't just be a continual "thank you" or "finale" column. I AM writing a column to make this a wrestling column. Here we go...

The Last 8 Years in Pro Wrestling

As I stated above, I started in late October 1998. Back then, the WWE was starting to cement its #1 status and WCW was beginning to grasp for straws. WCW became too much of Hulk Hogan's federation that it ruined the company. If you'll remember, Hulk Hogan went on Jay Leno and stated that he'd be retiring. This was after the feud with the Warrior absolutely tanked. My hope in WCW returning to the great fed that it was in 1997 sparked my interest... but then, the first Nitro of 1999 happened and the angle where Bill Goldberg was arrested and Kevin Nash jobbed to Hulk Hogan to reform the New World Order. WCW went down the tubes after that significant mistake. Instead of creating new stars like the WWE was doing with the Rock, Foley, and Austin, WCW was relying on old faces to keep the ship afloat. It was certainly their undoing and WCW got messy throughout 1999 when Bischoff was shortly fired and Vince Russo was hired. Remember, the Russo-marks had the nerve to mock me when I said that Russo would fail in WCW... 7 years later, who was right? Better yet, Russo came back in mid-2000 and I received the same negative feedback. Who was right on that, as well?

Amazingly, about 2 and a half years later, WCW would go down the tubes... along with ECW. ECW made WCW look good by comparison, at times. Seriously, Justin Credible as your world champion? ECW, in my mind, as good before Raven/Saturn/Richards left ECW for WCW during the Spring of 1997. They went downhill after that and after becoming "awesome" with Tanaka/Awesome feuds, they went down the tubes when Awesome jumped to WCW. It was nice seeing two good ECW reunion shows held by the WWE, but this organization hit its peak almost 10 years ago. This new show on Sci-Fi, however, makes me long for Justin Credible as champion on Spike TV.

The WWE went on to have an awesome 2000 campaign. The additions of the Radicalz, time off from Steve Austin, and Triple H actually being hungry enabled the WWE to have their hottest year to date. Oddly enough, the Triple H rise to fame also earned him a McMahon as a wife. This relationship helped to make lousy 2002 and 2003 campaigns for the WWE, while creating some problems in 2004 (seriously, Randy Orton... world champion?). WWE rebounded by slowly creating some new stars such as John Cena, or pushing older midcarders, such as Edge. Eddie Guerrero could have been a gigantic superstar, but in 2004 when Lesnar retired and Angle was hurt (again), the WWE poorly marketed the Smackdown brand and pushed JBL way too early to the title. Eddie should have been the next big thing in the WWE, but the WWE then wasted him until his untimely death.

Speaking of Eddie, his death was most unfortunate and it came at a time where his life was blossoming after years of substance abuse. His death was unfortunate, but as a wrestling fan, one guy's death hit me hard to the point of tears: Owen Hart. This was a death that should NOT have happened, by any means. This guy was nothing but class and a great entertainer. In my mind, he's the best wrestler to never hold the World Title. The WWE wasted him by bringing back the Blue Blazer gimmick, and just to mock WCW, the gimmick ended up killing him when they tried to imitate Sting. Other deaths such as Miss Elizabeth, Yokozuna, Crash Holly, Road Warrior Hawk, among others were also hard to swallow. This business has a real problem with guys not making it to age 50 or even age 40 and that must be amended. Life on the road and the high expectations to be in peak muscular shape are killing wrestlers. Then again, it is a business that guys choose to enter...

Pro wrestling has come a long way in the last 8 years... We've seen the Monday Night Wars fizzle and become a WWE monopoly of the American wrestling market place. We've seen a former midcarder named Triple H rise to ridiculous power and become the heir to the throne whenever Vince McMahon decides to retire. We've seen ECW rise, then fall, then rise, then fall, and then rise again... Only for it to be about to fall again. ECW won't last through 2007. I promise you that! WCW fell and was sold to the WWE in 2001. Then, WCW returned, but in embarrassing fashion when the WWE destroyed the promotion for good during the Invasions. Thankfully, "King Booker" is working, for the former 5 time WCW champion wasn't treated as such in 2001. If Ric Flair didn't show after the Survivor Series, I was ready to retire back then! We also saw the WWE actually try to create a pro football league that was an utter failure.

The backstage stuff was fantastic during the last 8 years... Austin walking out, twice. Brock Lesnar leaving the WWE. Just recently, Kurt Angle jumping to NWA-TNA. Vince Russo/Jeff Jarrett jumping to WCW, which caused Stephanie McMahon to rise to power. The entire Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita saga gave us something to talk about last year. The NWO entering the WWE in 2002, Bill Goldberg in the WWE in 2003, Warrior in WCW in 1998... only to become total ratings busts. Funny thing about the WWE signings is that they'll give Hall, Nash, Hogan, and Goldberg the nice fat contracts and short workload, but they never gave Sting the benefit of the doubt. The whole clash of personalities between WWE/WCW, WWE and new OVW wrestlers (remember Lesnar and the late Curt Hennig fighting on a plane?), among other instances, such as Ric Flair losing it one night against Eric Bischoff. This stuff made it easy to write. 3 federations of this stuff made it easy to write daily!

The last 8 years of wrestling was fun, though at several points, it was rough getting past the bad spots. I would have absolutely loved to have written during 1996 through mid-1998. That was the absolute peak of wrestling. Granted, the WWE's best was in 2000, but in 1996-1998, you had 3 choices. Additionally, you had the WWE rising from the dead and WCW rising and then falling hard. When I became a writer in October of 1998, WCW was already on its way down and it was only a matter of time before Bill Goldberg was going to be had by the Hogan/Nash beast that ruled WCW. Between Wrestlemania 17 and Wrestlemania 20, things were tough with the WWE being the only promotion in town. NWA-TNA, however, has yet to capture my interest, outside of a few X-division and Samoa Joe matches. I can't stand Jeff Jarrett.

The Future... The WWE, I thought, took a step back by overdoing the McMahons vs. DX feud. It hurt their main event scope and I believe it's a source of their recent ratings woes. However, the fed has a strong midcard and could potentially remain strong... if they care to give newer names a chance. John Cena, too, must be packaged in a way that fans want to cheer for him. This whole confusion of him acting like a face despite the fans openly rejecting it will hurt the WWE in the longrun. The time is now for NWA-TNA. If they can't book shows properly once they get a better timeslot, it's over. I believe they are shooting the load too quickly on Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle while they have an aging Sting as World Champion. This fed is in such booking disarray... Ultimate Fighting Championship may challenge the WWE fanbase on television, but at the same time, they appear to be defeating pro boxing instead of pro wrestling.

Keep an eye out for 2007... If TNA makes the right moves and Jeff Jarrett can drop his ego when booking, TNA could be alright. However, Thursday nights are death on pro wrestling (see Smackdown) and I'm not holding my breath. What I have been doing is losing interest in pro wrestling lately to the point that I casually watch RAW and that's it. Maybe a new Monday Night War will peak my interest again? What I do know, however, is that I'm done with writing about pro wrestling. It's been an honor to write for LordsofPain.net and to hopefully entertain the masses. Thanks to everyone for supporting this column. I've had a great deal of fun writing and I hope you had a great deal of fun reading.


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