Posted in: Mr. Tito
ASK TITO - Chris Benoit/Concussions, Randy Orton's Pushes, WWE/Sports, and more
By Mr. Tito
Jan 7, 2012 - 8:43:03 PM

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Welcome to Ask Tito, the weekly column where I answer YOUR questions whether it's about me or something completely random. Being a wrestling fan since the late 1980's who has read many publications on wrestling, you are tapping into a large database if you're seeking an answer on a wrestling question...

On to this week's questions...

What, if any, role do you feel the Chris Benoit murders had on the increased concussion awareness in sports today?

Good question. I believe that the NFL has been the biggest influence on all sports beginning to watch for post-concussion syndrome and overall concussion awareness. With their retirees having open protests and the NFL's former players getting Congressional attention, I believe that concussions being an issue with the NFL is the biggest influence.

WWE, in June 2007, was more embarrassed about the large quantity of steroids found in Chris Benoit's house. The WWE was advertising their new "Wellness Program" that they began in early 2006 and the findings in Benoit's house hurt the credibility of the WWE's new drug program. Almost immediately, the WWE ramped up efforts on drug testing and punishment.

I think that the WWE has seen the liability threats that the NFL has seen and has quietly implemented policies to better protect wrestlers. For instance, no more chairshots to the head and increased medical attention for wrestlers with head trauma.


Do you think that the WWE should have a countdown show before Raw on their network, to highlight the past action and then hype up Raw like a Monday Night Countdown for the NFL?

I've said this for years. WWE has gone too much into the tank towards being a Soap Opera rather than looking and feeling like a legitimate sporting event. Just the way that pro wrestlers ignore the fact that a camera man is in the same room with them has always bothered me.

Once the WWE saw how the mega-popular Steve Austin was with non-wrestling segments with Vince McMahon, it was ON and the WWE unleashed Vince Russo to craft crash TV stuff for the entire roster, the WWE turned into a full blown soap opera. It worked for a while, but from 1998-2001, you could do anything with Steve Austin and the Rock and it would be successful. Both are rare draws that only come along so often.

But I don't see the WWE changing. In fact, the continued success of the First Quarter Hour of RAW tells Vince McMahon that fans like those long interview segments and aren't crazy about actual wrestling matches like they used to be. Where you MIGHT see the WWE resembling sports will be on WWE Network. WWE appears to want their Legends to comment on the network and if they did something like the NFL's Total Access show, it could work well.

Vince, however, only changes when competition is chomping at the bit.


What is the WWE's obsession with Randy Orton and keeping him so strong with the booking?

Vince McMahon, to his credit, is loyal to next generation wrestlers if their relatives either worked for Vince or his father, Vince Sr. As much as Vince gets ridiculed for being aggressive towards his ex-talent, he's very generous to many that drew money to him. "Cowboy" Bob Orton was a big part of Wrestlemania 1 and Vince McMahon never forgets that. After all, Wrestlemania 1 was a "make or break" moment for the WWF's rapid national expansion.

I also think it has to do with Orton, along with John Cena, being remaining and loyal member of the Ohio Valley Wrestling Class of 2002. If you'll recall, this class included Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Charlie Haas, and Shelton Benjamin. Only Cena and Orton remain from that class and they are pushed HARD to this day possibly because of this. They are the new WWE veterans with strong spots.

Most obvious was a friendship developed with Triple H. I'm not sure if Orton just seemed to mesh well with Triple H as a friend or if Vince McMahon, from the Orton family connection, advised Triple H to "take him under his wing". Either way, that friendship existed and possibly still exists and thus has always allowed for favorable booking for Orton.

I also think that Orton overcoming a lot of his problems to evolve into a mature wrestler is also earning him a lot of respect backstage. Many similarities in this respect to Shawn Michaels second chance.


Can you help contribute to my wrestling column or be a guest on our audio show/podcast?

For one, anyone can ask me to contribute... Usually, if it's reasonable and practical towards my time, I have NO PROBLEMS helping out.. I'm quite busy in my personal and professional life, as well as foolishly trying to fill content for, so you'll have to make sure that you have a system of reminders to help me out. But if you ask, I'll try my best to help out (my apologies to Skittlez and fenixx for being unable to send in entries recently).

I'm better with sending in a written entry for assistance... I'm a bit unease with spoken word. I've been burned a few times on Audio Show contributions. When asked, I've contributed to audio shows and I had a good relationship with my friends at Wrestlepalooza where I'm still in contact with one of that show's members.

In late 2005, I believe, I was a regular call-in member of someone's wrestling show. It worked out well until one of the Webmasters of this website began to become impatient with how his website was growing. He wanted more promotion on although I was plugging my appearances in my columns regularly. After I taped the last show with them, this webmaster actually edited out much of my interview segment and went on the attack on me and the rest of the internet for not understanding how great his website was. It's great to see, today, that the website no longer exists. I should buy the domain name and direct it to just to kick him in the junk if he ever looked.

So to answer your question, SURE, I could help you out... But before I help your column and/or your audio show/podcast, I would need to have some level of trust and comfort before officially saying "yes". If your column or show lacks professionalism or has a certain reputation, even bashing me in the past, I will simply say "no thanks". Old Man Tito has been around the block before and it's not worth my time if someone doesn't appreciate my time.

Thank you for your questions!

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