Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Nobody Wants Triple H vs. Roman Reigns, RAW is HULU Review, & Nikki Bella Injury
By Mr. Tito
Feb 3, 2016 - 12:01:14 AM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING here at / Ah yes, sweet vindication as the RAW ratings for the 2/1/2016 show arrive:

Hour 1: 3.6 million viewers
Hour 2: 3.5 million viewers
Hour 3: 3.1 million viewers
AVERAGE: 3.4 Million

Last week's RAW did an average of 4.1 million for the night following Royal Rumble 2016 that featured the Rock in an extended segment. But now, we're back to RAW is Roman Reigns and that's even with Brock Lesnar on this show.

Wrestling fans DO NOT WANT Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns to headline Wrestlemania 32, period. This week's MASSIVE 700,000 drop in viewers and returning to being under 3.5 million viewers is an indictment of Roman Reigns as Vince McMahon's chosen one. That 3rd hour was headlined by Roman and the viewership dropped hard during that hour as has most RAWs since Roman Reigns has headlined most shows following Hell in a Cell 2015. On top of outright rejecting Roman Reigns as a babyface, they don't want the match-up between Triple H and Roman. It's a complete mismatch. HHH is a wrestler who hates leaving the ground and can tend to be very controlling of the match. Roman is still green as hell as a singles wrestler.

But, the more fascinating part is if the REAL Triple H shows up for Wrestlemania 32. No, not the one who was generous to put over Batista, John Cena, Undertaker, and Daniel Bryan cleanly at Wrestlemanias. Those were clear instances where Triple H knew what was "best for business" and HHH did a great job. I'm talking about the one who isn't as generous in the ring...

What Vince McMahon under-estimates is how competitive Triple H, the wrestler, is to retain his "spot". HHH, since 2000, has the advantage over other wrestlers because he attends WWE Creative and Production meetings and other wrestlers DO NOT. Therefore, the competitive HHH, wanting to retain his spot, can have a bad match with a wrestler and then complain about said wrestler at the Creative/Production meetings. That 2002-2003 stretch in particular was very damaging to many, many wrestlers. Ask Kane, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Chris Jericho, Bill Goldberg, and Scott Steiner who ran into that HHH buzzsaw. HHH is one of the most competitive yet political wrestlers of all time... If he has issues with you as a wrestler, he'll just simply shut it off for an evening.

At Wrestlemania 32, what if Triple H just so happens to have a bad match? HHH has 20 years experience in the WWE and knows how to work a match... Right now, he's in the midst of a political battle backstage against his Father-in-Law, Vince McMahon. Granted, HHH isn't going to openly challenge Vince and insult him out in the open. Vince gave HHH his wrestling career, his daughter, and wealth beyond his wildest imagination... Where Vince McMahon cannot control things is in the wrestling ring. HHH, however, can... Just the way he sells, calls the move in the ring, or possibly improvises against the gameplan of the match could throw an inexperienced Roman Reigns off. And based on other matches against WWE veterans, Roman Reigns foolishly trusts veteran wrestlers to fully carry a match. See those dull Randy Orton matches, for example.

If HHH wants to increase his role backstage handling the main WWE roster, the Roman Reigns push has to fail. So far, as seen by the ratings numbers above, it is failing. RAW viewership, constant boos by fans, and attendance numbers are dropping. Good chance that the absence of John Cena has something to do with it, but the fact that Reigns can't stabilize the business as the top guy proves that he's not ready to assume that mantle. If Wrestlemania 32 results in poor reviews and causes issues growing the WWE Network's subscription base, Triple H can easily say "I told you so" to Vince. The humiliation of Roman Reigns failing as a draw could make Vince consider retirement. Possibly... Vince lives and breathes pro wrestling and will probably die running the business, but there's a possibility that Vince may step down.

If only the WWE had someone on the sidelines that they could bring back to be that #1 babyface... Hmmm...

So for all of the WWE Hipsters who keep drinking the Vince McMahon Koolaid about Roman Reigns. Look at those RAW Ratings and tell me how those apples taste? When you write for over 17 years about pro wrestling, you tend to pick up on a thing or two about the business. I've been 100% right on Roman Reigns since late 2014 when I picked up on the early overpushing of Roman and I've been right on many other talents. Keep worshiping at the alter of the McMahons and you'll remain obtuse as a wrestling fan.


My prayers are with Bret "the Hitman" Hart as he battles Prostate Cancer.



Missed the Cut:
-Usos vs. Curtis Axel/Adam Rose
-Brie Bella vs. Charlotte
-Titus O'Neil vs. Tyler Breeze
-Backstage segment with the Bellas and Nikki's injury
-Backstage segment with Chris Jericho
-Backstage segment with R-Truth and Goldust

Quick "missed the cut thoughts": I HATE non-title matches, as the LAZY BOOKING (© Chrissssss) of the WWE Creative Team often uses that to set-up matches because they are unable to generate heat creatively. People are having a cow over Brie Bella getting a Divas Title shot, but it's just a WWE Fast Lane match. You'll get your Wrestlemania 32 match between Charlotte and Sasha, don't worry about that. So much for Tyler Breeze. So we have Breeze, Adam Rose, the Ascension, and Fandango as NXT call-ups over the past few years. Yikes... In the case of Breeze, Adam Rose, and Fandango... They feel like the same exact wrestler.

Opening segment was BROCK LESNAR with Paul Heyman talking. Ah yes, much better than the McMahon love segments we've endured for weeks. Pretty nasty shot taken by Paul Heyman calling Triple H a "trophy husband to a billionaire". Ouch. I'm sure that Vince will speak to Heyman on that one and force him to script more of his promos... Dean Ambrose, who is in the Fastlane match, came down and had a good interaction with Lesnar. To my surprise, Lesnar didn't attack him... Ambrose could hang quite well on the mic in the big spot. Good job.

First match was Rusev vs. Kalisto. With the US Title rematch set for WWE Fastlane against Del Rio, you just knew that Rusev would be doing the job. Didn't Rusev BEAT John Cena at a Pay Per View event one time? I guess that TMZ story of Rusev and Lana's engagement will forever haunt them. The MEGA PUSH of Kalisto is on as the WWE has finally found their next coming of Rey Mysterio Jr. Congrats to them... Just remember when the drawing power of Mysterio began to drop... It's when bigger wrestlers had to sell the tiny Mysterio's moves. I'm not impressed particularly since the WWE lacks a Cruiserweight Division where Kalisto could really thrive.

I just cringe when I see Miz on television... And he was talking down AJ Styles. Sure, it's trying to play up that AJ Styles was never a full-time participant in the WWE, but the guy is far more accomplished in the ring than most of the WWE roster. Take that as no offense... AJ Styles joined World Championship Wrestling during 2001 just before it closed. It's LAZY BOOKING (© Chrisssss) by the WWE to talk down the competition but at the same time, it marginalizes anybody coming in from another promotion. AJ Styles should be an asset to the WWE and hopefully, he destroys the Miz on Smackdown this week.

Big Show vs. Erick Rowan was up next... Yep, you could see this match's result a mile away. Show beats the weakest link of the Wyatt Family and then the rest of the Wyatts attack. And Braun Strowman is loved by Vince McMahon and reportedly, almost earned a match with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32. That's scary. Instead, we may see the Undertaker take down the walking stiff. Strowman is yet another wrestler signed to WWE developmental based on his look. He has just 2 years experience after participating in strongman competitions before WWE signed him. Ugh...

Good segment between Brock Lesnar and Triple H. Being honest here, WWE should call an audible and book Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H and then book Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns instead of what we're probably getting at Wrestlemania 32.

Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler was good, but I feel that I've seen this match many times already (even if I didn't). With how much Ziggler loses and now Owens loses to Ziggler, I just don't care. WWE neuters every wrestler in sight.

With Brie Bella possibly feuding with Charlotte, Sasha Banks looks to be involved with an angle against her old pals, Team BAD. She was wrestling Becky Lynch, again (blowing that match in the WWE twice now for free), and predictably, Naomi/Tamina Snuka attacked her during the match. I'm actually interested in see how good of match that Sasha and Naomi could put on. By the way, Naomi looks to be in tremendous shape right now. Looking good!

Main event was Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns vs. New Day. I'm sure that Dean Ambrose will take the sword for the low ratings, but I think that more needs to be placed on the 2-time WWE World Champion. Plus, as I've argued for a few weeks now, the New Day members are losing steam. Ever since that stupid Unicorn saying, they've lacked originality and creativity. Better yet, are they ready for the Main Event scene? Match was well worked by both teams, but nothing groundbreaking to leave you hungry for more. Afterward, Brock Lesnar attacked Dean Ambrose for the earlier segment. Interesting...

SHOW THOUGHTS: Filler, filler, filler... Honestly, I'm actually pumped for Lesnar vs. Reigns vs. Ambrose. That's an interesting main event... But for the rest of the show, I was yawning for much fo RAW. How anyone can endure the full 3 hours of RAW plus being bombarded with commercials, I'll never know. The midcard is a hot mess right now and nobody is getting over. We're not heading into Wrestlemania 32 with style... [ C ] for this week's show grade.



Oh, internet... Word is that WWE Divas wrestler, Nikki Bella, has a badly injured neck as a result of the wear & tear over the past year and also due to the crashing impact of her finisher, the "Rack Attack". As you may recall during 2015, Nikki Bella was Divas Champion for much of the year and became the longest reigning Divas Champion. She is also a big star on the Total Divas show on the E! Network.

When news of Nikki Bella's neck injury was posted, the reaction by many on the internet was disgusting. There were actual CHEERS that Nikki Bella was injured and possibly forced into retirement. Huh? Exactly what has Nikki Bella ever done to you to wish harm on her? What, because you didn't like her matches or her reign as WWE Champion? So what? It's just a wrestling show and at best, she might have been on one 15 minute segment of a 3 hour television show. And you're hot and bothered that she was Divas Champion?

What internet fans need to realize that Nikki Bella has NO creative control, nor does she sign her own paychecks. That's 100% WWE. WWE chose to bring the Bella Twins back and they choose to push the Bellas hard because of the Total Divas show. It's called marketing... After the Bella Twins left the WWE to pursue other ventures, the WWE didn't have to bring the duo back. But it was the choice of WWE Management to not only bring them back but to push them hard in the Divas division. And unlike the majority of the internet criticizing the Bellas, Total Divas actually draws 1 million or more viewers per week. How many people want to watch your every move, Internet? Getting that many eyeballs to the E! Network is impressive considering the track records of shows not named "Kardashian".

Again... WWE cuts the checks and WWE pushes whatever talent they want.

Let's be honest here about the WWE Divas division during 2014-2015 when Nikki Bella as Divas Champion. It was in shambles! AJ Lee had health issues and was about to retire. Paige didn't exactly set the world on fire following her NXT debut and still hasn't made that big of an impact. Good wrestler but her role switching between heel and babyface just isn't sticking to the wall. The rest of the Women's division had many ideas thrown at the wall as well and nothing was really sticking. The best opportunity for momentum was Naomi but the orbital bone fracture really cooled her momentum.

Furthermore, Nikki Bella worked hard to entertain you. Look at her... She's in amazing physical shape right now. She is ripped! As Divas Champion, she improved in the ring with time. Was she Trish Stratus? No, but who is? Nobody has set the world on fire like Trish and Lita did back in the day as female wrestlers. Many have come along, but many have failed to impress WWE's diverse audience of younger, adult, and casual fans who have never fully bought into women's wrestling. Nikki sure as well tried to impress as a female wrestler, came up with a great finisher in the Rack Attack, and her payment for all of that is a badly injured neck. Yet, many Internet Fans are cheering on her demise?

The funny part is that Nikki Bella has stepped back as a wrestler since she lost her Divas Title. Oh, you didn't notice? That's right, those NXT call-ups Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch aren't setting the world on fire. In fact, they're struggling... They are dealing with the SAME WWE Creative and Marketing team that used to book the Bellas to the top of the roster. Charlotte needs her daddy, Ric Flair, to help her get over. But I thought these ladies were so great in NXT?

They were... But what's happening to Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch is that they've entered a different culture. In NXT at Full Sail, you have the same paying fans who have stuck around long enough to know every wrestler on the roster and they actually play along with every single angle and show. I've seen them cheer on BAD matches and their enthusiasm for the NXT product actually enhances the presentation of the show. Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) had the same atmosphere... Same fans attending every show and they became personally invested in every wrestler and every angle. Therefore, Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch were appreciated by NXT fans but those guys love everybody on that NXT roster. Just as ECW fans loved every single ECW wrestler, good or bad...

DIFFERENT environment in the WWE... WWE is in a different arena each week and seen up to 10,000 or more fans. Moreso with WWE audiences, you have a mixture of older adult fans who remember the "good old days" of the Hulkamania or Attitude Eras (where Women's wrestling was a sideshow) or younger fans, who in their teenage years, would rather see them posing for spreads instead of performing athletic feats in the ring. Why else would Sunny, Sable, Trish, Torrie Wilson, Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, etc. be so popular with their looks? Better yet, the enhanced Nikki Bella falls under that category too. Wonder why she was champion for so long? Because she fits the template of the past. That's why someone like Eva Marie might be far more successful on the WWE Main Roster than any NXT call-up. Different environment, different culture...

Don't believe me? Did you hear those "WHAT?!?" chants during Sasha Banks's promo on RAW this week and also during Naomi/Tamina's promos? The rotating audiences in different arenas each week aren't emotionally connected to the "Divas Revolution" wrestlers as the smaller and recurring audiences seen at Full Sail for NXT. Because of the WWE culture in place, pure in-ring competitors from NXT like Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte will struggle to get over unless they can offer the WWE more than just in-ring ability. Sasha, Charlotte, and Becky are each beautiful in their own right, but can they draw based on that or use that to draw in fans to their wrestling abilities.

Getting over as a Divas wrestler is not as easy as it looks... Nikki Bella did her best given the chaos and thin Divas roster of 2014-2015. She gave you, the fans, everything she had in the ring and as a result, she has an injury that will affect her for the rest of her life.

Show some damn respect or hand in your cards as wrestling fans. Nikki deserves better than complete ignorance by internet fans who are celebrating her injury.


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