Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Not Feeling Undertaker vs. NON-Wrestler Shane McMahon, RAW is Hulu, and More
By Mr. Tito
Feb 24, 2016 - 12:07:53 AM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome back to the most polarizing column on the internet also-known-as the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING here at / That's right... After I post a RAW review, I get nothing but "Tito, you so negative" and then I post extremely positive Pay Per View reviews (which I have for most of 2015 and both 2016 shows), and I get ridiculed for being too pro-WWE. And it's usually the same trolls throwing both allegations at me... Can't please everybody.

Now, let's go back in time... Seems like everybody likes to write RETRO columns these days, but I'll use the past to add perspective to the present. From mid-1999 through early 2000, the WWE hit its ratings peak for the Attitude Era... But then, hype around Wrestlemania 16 happened and then the show happened. Wrestlemania 16 isn't exactly the highest rated Wrestlemania of all time. Sure, it has the first "TLC" (not officially called it) between Dudleys/Edge & Christian/Hardys and the Jericho/Angle/Benoit matches were fantastic... But what most remember was how LAME the Main Event was. If you'll recall, the Wrestlemania 16 Main Event was Triple H (c) vs. Rock vs. Big Show vs. Mick Foley in an Elimination Style 4 Way match.

But the hype of Wrestlemania 16 wasn't just a conflict between Triple H, Rock, Big Show, and Mick Foley... Ohhhhhh no! It was the MCMAHON IN EVERY CORNER match with each of the McMahon family members backing 1 wrestler each in this match.

- Stephanie McMahon backed her then-television husband Triple H
- Vince McMahon backed the Rock
- Shane McMahon backed the Big Show
- Linda McMahon backed the recently retired and now unretired Mick Foley

Instead of giving us the Rock vs. Triple H singles match that we all wanted, which would have placed the company's 2 top stars one on one, Wrestlemania 16 was about McMahon family drama. Instead of letting the WWE Title just draw on its own, the McMahons thought they were more important than the stars wrestling actual matches. While it can be easily argued that the McMahons help enhance the product, they struggle when the full spotlight is on them. Wrestlemania 16 proved that... Following Wrestlemania 16, RAW began its epic ratings slide from being above 6.0 consistently to being around 4.0 in 2 years and diminishing ever since (2.7 rating for that 2/22/2016 edition of RAW). And that's even with Stone Cold Steve Austin returning from his neck injury later during 2000. Fans were beginning to have enough of All McMahons, All the Time.

Fast forward to the 2010's... The Authority, Triple H & Stephanie McMahon, have been ruling the WWE and through late 2015, Vince McMahon officially returns to television. Then, this past Monday, Shane McMahon appears to interrupt the first-ever Vince J. McMahon Award that is handed to his sister Stephanie.

Before I get into my true rant, it was nice to see Shane McMahon back... Fans appreciated seeing his return because I'm guessing that they are praying that anybody but his sister assumes control fo the WWE in real life. For me, I like Shane only because he's proven himself outside of the WWE. Amazing reception for him in Detroit and you could see him tearing up from the reaction. Cool moment.

Now, back to my rant... I was fine with the segment until a RIDICULOUS Wrestlemania 32 match was soon booked by Vince McMahon. Years ago, Shane saved Vince from some sort of financial disaster (what, Benoit's death?) and a deal was put in place where Shane would still be in line to assume power when Vince retires, etc. Because of that, it prompts Vince McMahon to throw a challenge towards Shane who wants to control RAW. If Shane McMahon wants to control Monday Night RAW, he has to defeat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32 in a HELL IN A CELL match...

And Shane McMahon shook on it...

Think about this for a second... The WWE is WASTING the Undertaker match at Wrestlemania, which used to host very important Undertaker matches, on a non-wrestler who hasn't tried to wrestle for many, many years. Undertaker is a guy that spent 2015 beating the Wyatt Family and pushing Brock Lesnar to his limits... And now, he has to sell for Shane McMahon while doing Vince McMahon's bidding?

It was HILARIOUS last night, as I awaited to see RAW on Tuesday within the Hulu application, to see the Internet Wrestling Community go from HAPPY that Shane McMahon returned to PISSED OFF that Shane gets the Undertaker match. As I watched 11.22.63 on Hulu instead on Monday Night, I just sat back and laughed at my Twitter feed and various message boards going NUCLEAR. Loved it...

Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32 is giving us "shades of Wrestlemania 16". Too much McMahon drama... Sure, the Shane McMahon return pumped up viewership for the first 2 hours of RAW, but by the 3rd hour, it was "business as usual" by returning back to being under 3.5 million viewers. Next week, we'll average out being under 3.5 million viewers and any additional Shane appearances won't draw. WWE had their one-time opportunity to use Shane in a meaningful way and we're getting Shane vs. Taker instead... Yuck.

Hopefully, Shane is just a temporary placeholder for a WRESTLER to take over... Please, WWE... Last I want is for the Undertaker to have to act like he's selling for a regular human being. For the record, I said the same thing about Shane when he was wrestling Kurt Angle, Big Show, X-Pac, and Test back in the day... Consistency, baby.

BUT HEY, I no longer care... Most of you were wondering why I wasn't outraged about Roman Reigns winning his WWE Fast Lane match. For one, it appears that WWE was doing Triple H vs. Roman Reigns no matter what... I've accepted it. Based on the way that the WWE has rebooked their Wrestlemania 30 (sorry Batista) and Wrestlemania 31 (Sorry Roman Reigns) main events, there was no way that the WWE would call an "audible" on this one. And I actually agree... Following both Wrestlemanias 30 and 31, both Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins suffered from bad booking afterward. Daniel Bryan immediately feuded with Kane during 2014 and Seth Rollins went on to endure the "summer of mediocrity" between getting owned by John Cena and bickering with fellow Authority member Kane during 2015 after their Wrestlemania moments. Point being? Calling an audible to destroy Wrestlemania plans hurts long-term plans of the Summer.

Better yet, the WWE is giving us Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar... THANK YOU, WWE... I begged for this for weeks, as I noted the good chemistry between Lesnar and Ambrose, and the WWE ditched ALL Wyatt Family plans for Lesnar in order to deliver a nice compromise gift to fans. I WANT TO SEE THIS MATCH...

If you still like wrestling as an older fan and want to keep watching wrestling, as I have... Sometimes, you have to compromise. Sometimes, you endure hours of bad shows in order to get ONE good match-up. After all, isn't that how UFC and Boxing events happen? Most buy Pay Per View events of UFC or Boxing just to see ONE match... That's the perspective that wrestling fans must take into Wrestlemania 32 if you're truly upset by Triple H vs. Roman Reigns or now Undertaker vs. non-wrestler Shane McMahon. Just have a bunch of old friends over and shoot the breeze during bad matches while waiting for Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar.

And WHO CARES if Dean Ambrose loses to Brock Lesnar? Besides Triple H, John Cena, and the Undertaker... Ya know, all time greats! Who has actually pinned or made Brock Lesnar submit in a match? Nobody. It's OK to lose to Brock Lesnar. He's a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, after all, along with being a former NCAA Heavyweight Champion in amateur wrestling. There are very few people in this world that might be able to take Brock Lesnar in hand-to-hand combat. All Dean Ambrose has to do is pull off a great match potentially on the level of CM Punk's SummerSlam 2013 match against Lesnar and he'll do just fine. Just put up an amazing losing effort that everybody talks about after the show and considers as a "Match of the Year" candidate. WWE needs Dean Ambrose to deliver because they need a back-up plan when Roman Reigns FAILS as the company's top babyface wrestler.

And that's being reasonable as a pro wrestling fan...



Missed the Cut (Hulu RAW is only 1.5 hours)
- Usos vs. the Ascension
- Chris Jericho/AJ Styles vs. Heath Slater/Curtis Axel
-Goldust & R-Truth Segment

- I already said my peace on the Shane McMahon/Vince McMahon/Stephanie McMahon segment, so I'll move on. It was fun to see Shane back but once we scored the ridiculous deal for Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania 32, no thanks.

- New Day vs. Lucha Dragons/Neville was OK... With Kalisto involved, it makes me wonder if we'll see one of the New Day members going for the United States Title but possibly not. Sin Cara took the pin.

- LOVED the Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar segment where the talked down Dean Ambrose and then Dean returned in the ambulance. Loved the use of the attack before RAW to hype up the show and along with Shane McMahon's return, RAW pushed 4 million viewers for the first 2 hours. Just a great segment that builds up Dean Ambrose as a massive underdog... If he just takes the fight to Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32, he'll do wonders for his career.

- Predictable that we'd see some variation of Wyatts vs. Big Show/Kane/Ryback on RAW, but this time, we had Bray Wyatt involved in the match instead of the great and Vince McMahon loved Braun Strowman. Why doesn't WWE just embrace the Strowman LOVE by Vince? Make him Vince's bodyguard! The Wyatt Family has become irrelevant, so why not just pair up Harper/Rowan as a regular hoss tag team, rename Bray Wyatt as his real name "Windham Rotunda" to embrace his actual wrestling roots with Barry Windham as his Uncle and Mike Rotunda as his Dad, and making Strowman a Vince McMahon bodyguard. See, I'm full of great ideas tonight... Oh, this match? I enjoyed the spot where everybody was hitting their big spots. That's what you do in 6 man matches... Oddly enough, Ryback walked away from this match and that helped cause Kane/Big Show to lose... Afterward, Ryback said he was DONE with tag team matches and it's time to focus on himself as a singles wrestler. Yeah, enjoy those singles matches with Kane and Big Show for the next few months. Congrats.

- Sasha Banks vs. Naomi seemed short for a way to blow off this feud of Team Bad... Looks like we'll be seeing the 3 ladies from the Divas Revolution that were called up from NXT wrestling in a 3 way at Wrestlemania 32. But will that captivate a massive audience in Dallas? I don't know... I am really digging Charlotte's mic skills as a heel. She's clicking and now she needs a babyface that everybody cares about to help complement her as a heel.

- I love me some Godfather... Easily, one of the coolest wrestlers and it was pulled off because Charles Wright, the man behind the gimmick, put full effort into making the character work. He's worth of the Hall of Fame based on his body of work and that gimmick was awesome. That entrance, man...

- Final match was Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus. Short match which could have lasted longer (lots of filler backstage segments, it appeared)... But the end featured the typical Triple H massive beatdown that he has performed with many, many opponents. Repeat and rinse... I swear, I've seen this beatdown many times by Triple H on his opponents and they often won't get the best of him in the end.

SHOW THOUGHTS: Hot crowd in Detroit that helped motivate some of the performers but damn the matches felt short tonight. Lots of talking... I guess you have to set the table for storylines heading into Wrestlemania but I thought that I tuned into a WRESTLING show. Silly me. [ B- ] mostly for the Heyman/Lesnar/Ambrose stuff and Shane's return, although I don't want Shane vs. Undertaker at Wrestlemania. No thanks... But I get Ambrose vs. Lesnar!



Being brutally honest here, there's part of me who is cheering that CM Punk's Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut keeps getting delayed... Not that I wish him any harm or bad luck in mixed martial arts, but I miss him as a PRO WRESTLER.

I'm still sore for the WWE's bad treatment of CM Punk ever since he signed his 3 year deal with them at Money in the Bank 2011. Punk was screwed with repeatedly after that and not allowed to defeat any major opponents outside of his John Cena wins. After legitimately drawing in more viewers following his Pipebomb speech through SummerSlam 2011, he was marginalized and kept down as a wrestler. He should have become a main event equal to John Cena because he was legitimately drawing in 2011 and his merchandise sold strongly with adult fans. You know, those adult fans who were NOT buying John Cena merchandise and also adults who buy Pay Per Views (also a Cena weak suit).

But the WWE wore CM Punk thin with booking promise after booking promise and broke him by early 2014. Abruptly, he quit on the RAW following Royal Rumble 2014 and soon decided to give MMA a try by joining the UFC promotion. As indicated by his November 2014 podcast interview with fellow friend and wrestler Colt Cabana, there's a lot of bad feelings about what occurred in the WWE during that 2011-2014 contract. Notably, Punk ripped WWE EVP Triple H heavily for some creative issues... Bad blood extends further as Punk is in a lawsuit with the WWE's physician and his real life wife, AJ Lee, abruptly retired. Punk seems to have distanced himself from Pro Wrestling and had a full focus on UFC.

Punk has yet to fight in UFC... Just recently, Punk had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back to delay his UFC debut. At age 37, time is running out and fellow UFC fighters have quite a laundry list of injuries to study on Punk. I understand that it's his dream to become a MMA fighter, but reality may set in that you're fighting against guys in their athletic peaks within their mid to late 20's.

I hate to say it, but I really want CM Punk back in pro wrestling... I'm not supporting his MMA career because I'm not a fan of MMA. I don't buy UFC Pay Per Views nor do I follow the sport. Just does nothing for me... Pro wrestling is more entertaining to me because the characters can help draw you into watch as much as the in-ring product. CM Punk was one of the best characters that the WWE had in years and they pissed him away. He didn't have to wrestle or go for high risk moves against hosses like Lesnar or Undertaker. Punk was blessed with intelligence and the ability to speak well... WWE should have utilized those abilities, like they do for much of their top stars (including Cena) instead of letting him be a punching bag to the stars.

If I were Sinclair, owners of Ring of Honor, or Panda Energy, owners of TNA Wrestling, I would cut a big fat check to CM Punk to become the top star of their promotion. Then, I'd give him creative control over his character and as much mic time as he requests... Punk is a legitimate top drawing pro wrestling that his bigtime signing is worth every penny. Better yet, cut a big check to AJ Lee as well. Man, TNA Wrestling would benefit greatly by signing both.

I just worry that WWE broke him too much and that he'll never give pro wrestling another shot. What CM Punk can do with his speaking ability and personality is something you just can't teach in NXT. He's a natural and a good wrestler to boot.

I'd welcome Punk back to pro wrestling with open arms and would support whatever promotion signs him.


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