Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - The Latest Cowardly Move by WWE Corporate: Banning the Seth Rollins Curb Stomp
By Mr. Tito
Apr 22, 2015 - 11:59:37 PM

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Just curious... If you took away the "Stone Cold Stunner" away from Steve Austin, the "Diamond Cutter" from Diamond Dallas Page or the same move renamed "RKO" from Randy Orton, the "Pedigree" from Triple H, would it affect those wrestlers' careers? After all, the psychology of pro wrestling is that finishers, for the most part, are the key move that allows wrestlers to win an actual match. WWE has taken the mantra of the finisher and run with it ever since several wrestlers during the late 1980's made finishers famous. Think about Jake "the Snake" Roberts without his DDT finisher, for example.

Justin LaBar, who writes for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and other wrestling websites, broke a story about how WWE officials are attempting to ban Seth Rollins's Curb Stomp finisher due to liability issues and possible injuries to other wrestlers. WWE has already taken steps to remove the Curb Stomp finisher by changing Rollins's Titantron and making Rollins use a modified DDT to defeat Dolph Ziggler on RAW. Mind you, this is the same company who has banned the Piledriver as a regular move and only lets Undertaker/Kane use the Tombstone finisher on occasion. This is in addition to forced renames of various moves such as John Cena renaming his "FU Drop" Death Valley Driver finisher to the "Attitude Adjustment".

WWE will put up a front that they "care" about the health of its wrestlers. Excuse me, but could you point me to a wrestler whom Seth Rollins has injured? Rollins is an incredibly safe worker and that Curb Stomp is executed without issue. It's not like he's following through with his foot... Rollins is a professional, through and through. Not a single pro wrestler has been hurt from the Curb Stomp. I'll tell you who hurts wrestlers and that's Sheamus. Ask Daniel Bryan about his current concussion. Ryback has hurt a few people including CM Punk multiple times. If injury to wrestlers was the WWE's true fear, then why don't they punish wrestlers who actually hurt people instead of a safe professional like Seth Rollins?

The REAL ISSUE is the publicly traded corporation known as the WWE. They are liability and public relations conscious. That is the true "PG Era" of the WWE that started during the early 2000's when the WWE was attacked repeatedly by parental groups, notably the Parents Television Council who targeted WWE's sponsors. However, the WWE kept doing the remnants of the Attitude Era adult themed storylines until the Chris Benoit incident scared them straight on all fronts during June 2007. In order to convince parents that their product was "family friendly" and that Benoit was an isolated incident, WWE scrubbed its storylines and characters from anything obscene. Bye bye "FU Drop" and hello "Attitude Adjustment" for John Cena's finisher. On top of that, the WWE Corporation has hired armies of Vice Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents from non-wrestling backgrounds who are influencing Vince McMahon for the worse.

The Curb Stomp finisher looks like and is named after the real curb stomp which is defined as a form of assault in which a victim's mouth is forcefully placed on a curb and then stomped from behind, causing severe injuries and sometimes death. If you don't know what I mean, watch the movie American History X when Edward Norton delivers a hate driven one:

Edward Norton's character from American X was an obvious racist as seen by that massive Nazi tattoo seen on his chest and other actions throughout the movie. The real curb stomp is very hate and racially driven and by its definition, involves someone placing their open mouth on a curb and a hard kick being delivered to the back of their head, often killing them.

Excuse me, but does Seth Rollins's "Curb Stomp" involve him lining somebody's mouth against a curb and then kicking it in? No... Rollins delivers a stomping kick to another wrestler in the middle of the wrestling ring. No curb involved and from what I've seen so far, Seth Rollins is NOT a racist. It's just his unique finisher that the WWE's storytelling has sold to wrestling fans as a legitimate move that can win Main Event matches. But now, they take it away and give Rollins a modified DDT. Yeah, like nobody else has a DDT finisher... By the way, why didn't the WWE Corporation think about this BEFORE Seth Rollins was using the move to win the WWE Title at Wrestlemania 31? If you fear liability reasons, then you better censor your prized Wrestlemania 31 show... Tisk, tisk WWE...

The "Curb Stomp" is a safe executed move by a wrestling professional named Seth Rollins. It's part of his identity and for the better part of the year, the WWE has told us via storylines that this move allows Seth Rollins to win Main Event matches. But now, they take it away... He's the WWE Champion and won with the Curb Stomp but he can't even do the freakin' move that won him that very title.

If you're afraid of liability, then why not ban most wrestling moves? Seth Rollins's new finisher, the DDT, can go very wrong if executed incorrectly. That involves the HEAD and NECK of an opponent being driven into the ground. The RKO is grabbing the neck. The Attitude Adjustment involves a flipping slam that if executed poorly could drop someone on their head. How about the Powerbomb? You mess that move up and it's a broken neck. Droz anyone? The F5 finisher from Brock could badly hurt someone and those German Suplexes could do real damage if executed improperly. The Curb Stomp, especially executed by an incredibly safe professional, is the least of the WWE's worries for both wrestler AND wrestling fan injuries. What guarantees that wrestling fans will try to do the real curb stomp with an actual curb? Is that what the WWE is actually assuming?

Removing the Curb Stomp from Seth Rollins neuters his identity. Because the "Curb Stomp" name is controversial, it helped get the move over besides looking awesome as executed by Rollins. It gave Rollins an "edge" as a heel because he's daring to call his move controversial. Think about all of the stuff Stone Cold Steve Austin did during the late 1990's. If you took away his proud redneck stuff, drinking beer, or obscenities, what would his character become? You saw him in his early WWE days and he wasn't getting over... Take away the Rock's trash talking because it offends people... What would he become? DX was extremely offensive in their day with adult themes. Censor that and what does it become? Oh yeah, the late 2000's DX... LAME. John Cena got over because he was a controversial rapper and would have failed if the WWE tried to push him as a vanilla babyface like he is today. Oh wait, they tried that with John Cena's debut during 2002 and it didn't catch on despite a nice debut against Kurt Angle.

The WWE Corporation has sanitized anything controversial and it's alienating wrestling fans. Younger wrestling fans find the current wrestling product "childish" and start seeking things like Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) instead. Many Attitude Era fans, now adults, have had enough of the current PG Era product and are leaving in droves. WWE had them back for one night, the RAW after Wrestlemania 31, but quickly lost them in the 3 weeks following that show. RAW went from 5 million viewers to under 4 million. That is scary but yet a nice indicator of how bad the WWE product has become. Corporate WWE has scrubbed anything controversial from their roster and we're getting a bland product in return. Just look at the New Day stable if you don't believe me. LAME and they reportedly were going to be more controversial than their goofy gimmick that you see now.

Since this news broke, the WWE has quickly tried to backtrack by funneling news stories to their public relations firms or as I call them, "wrestling insiders" who produce newsletters or paid content online. The spin is that the WWE just wants to utilize an alternative finisher to the Curb Stomp or that the Curb Stomp will be made to be a "special" finisher for occasions. Please... WWE Corporate is fearful of the Curb Stomp's REAL definition somehow being associated with Seth Rollins. Yet, that controversy is what the WWE needs.

Look at some real life examples right now...

- Tim Tebow completely hijacked the sports news cycle this past weekend by simply signing a 1 year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Technically speaking, he's the 4th string quarterback on that team right now and may likely be the 3rd string QB when the season starts. How could he generate so much attention? Aside from his success in college, he's open about his Christianity and his pro-life position on the abortion topic. The latter point is what makes Tebow a magnet for controversy.

- Michael Sam, the first openly homosexual NFL Draft entrant, just stirs attention for whatever he does. Despite his poor NFL Combine numbers (too slow, lacked strength), the fact that he's openly gay in a world still warming up to homosexuality causes controversy. NFL reportedly encouraged teams to take Sam in last year's draft for the publicity.

- ANY Celebrity partying too much. How does that phrase go? "Sex, Drugs, and Rock N Roll". The thing about celebrities who drink too much, screw many people, or do illegal activity is that it captivates their audience. Many of their fans are afraid to do what celebrities do and live vicariously through them. Celebrity gossip makes major dollars for a reason.

- Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern. Made livings on AM/FM radio by saying controversial things and not fearing consequences. Both are the biggest names ever in radio history and helped save the genre of talk radio by themselves. Most people tune into either guy to see what they'll say next. Several television personalities say controversial things as well and yet they are popular because of it. Great example constantly made by Collin Cowherd on ESPN Radio, if you want corporate and sanitized news, watch Anderson Cooper on CNN. But if you want hard hitting and controversial opinions, you're watching Bill O'Reilly on FOX News.

There are so many news stories out there that the WWE could piggyback off on and yet they are using the 1980's playbook of "America vs. Russia" with anybody who faces Rusev. Rusev, the wrestler, is helping to get that gimmick over but Americans aren't necessarily anti-Russian. WWE needs to look at more polarizing stories out there... For example, why can't the members of the New Day be upset some of the news stories lately about how blacks are being treated by police? Why can't there be an Islamic wrestler? WWE was sort of onto something with the Muhammad Hassan managed by Daivari which Corporate WWE shutdown after a controversial storyline aired following the London Bombings. Hassan tried to push that he was being wrongly stereotyped by Americans. Why didn't the WWE realize that AJ Lee handed them a golden opportunity to push an "Equal Pay" storyline with their WWE Divas going on strike because of being paid less than Men? WWE had some heat with Zeb Colter talking down Illegal Immigration but they quickly went away from that. All they have to do is introduce a few Hispanic wrestlers (many out there to recruit) and create conflict in your storylines.

But, Corporate WWE wants to keep everything clean and perfect. The PG Era is here to stay and pro wrestling will forever lack realism because none of their wrestlers truly stand for anything.

It's completely STUPID for the WWE to ban or reduce use of the Curb Stomp finisher for Seth Rollins. It's that "edge" that Rollins has to establish his identity in the WWE. It's a move that clearly helped him win matches on the way to the Main Event. But now, it's reportedly gone or at least reduced in use. Just baffling.

If WWE fans are upset about the possible banning of Seth Rollins unique finisher, the Curb Stomp, then speak up. I do my share by posting these columns to this audience here at / Only so much I can do as 1 person with a decent sized megaphone. You, the fans, need to spread the word online. Retweet my column or start a trending hash tag like #WWEKeepTheCurb or something like that.

Until WWE fans take action, the WWE Corporation will take more away from the pro wrestling business. Don't be the enablers by doing nothing.


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