Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - WWE RAW Ratings Declines, Backlash Pay Per View Predictions, and More
By Mr. Tito
May 16, 2017 - 11:48:24 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

I'm back!!! The Excellence in Column Writing has returned to its exclusive role at / You'll never find a column that is hard hitting, has the courage to call things out, and to also make forecasts well ahead of anyone. Like my "permanently under 3.0 million" call during the 2016 DRAFT based on the results of RAW's draft and the trends of the time. Then, as veterans Bill Goldberg, Triple H, Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar appeared regularly and then Wrestlemania 33 season, the ratings remained briefly above 3.0 million. Many of you tried to rub it in my face and I was just chill... I was playing the LONG game and knew that after Wrestlemania 33, WWE's chickens would come to roost. And they did...

April 3rd Episode: 3.767 million viewers (post WM33 Show)
April 10th Episode: 3.429 million viewers
April 17th Episode: 3.346 million viewers
April 24th Episode: 3.007 million viewers
May 1st Episode: 2.87 million viewers
May 8th Episode: 2.696 million viewers
May 15th Episode: 2.751 million viewers

How do you like me now? Do you like them apples?

For YEARS now, I've been pushing the narrative of the WWE either having a LACK of top drawing stars or pushing the WRONG guys to hopefully become stars. Sorry, but Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, and especially Roman Reigns are NOT and I repeat NOT the answer to your top drawing guys. Last time that the WWE cared to push John Cena, a real Main Event drawing star, was 2014 and tada, the viewership has dropped ever since. And now the WWE is especially SCREWED by Braun Strowman getting hurt because the WWE put all of their Chips on Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman while disregarding everybody else with the "50/50" (win some, lose some, nothing consistent) booking of every other wrestler.

This just PROVES why it pays to have a STRONG MIDCARD. The RAW brand in particular has crapped all over its United States title as an accessory instead of something that NON-Main Eventers could fight over. Let me remind y'all again... The Intercontinental Title was once held by Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Ultimate Warrior, Bret "the Hitman" Hart, Shawn Michaels, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Triple H, the Rock, and Randy Orton as STEPPING STONES before going after the World Title (John Cena was US Champ on Smackdown). With wrestling shows being 2-3 hours, you NEED an undercard and what better way to showcase your MIDCARD wrestlers is to have a STRONG MIDCARD Title. If you take it for granted or let the DAMN TITLES switch brands, you have ZERO BENCH STRENGTH to back-up a depleted Main Event scene.

Roman Reigns is NOT drawing. FACT. I statistically proved that. Seth Rollins did NOT draw as a heel champion. FACT. I statistically proved that. Finn Balor isn't drawing any interest and he's wrestler lighter than most performers on the 205 Live show. 190 pounds...

Oh, and don't think that WWE Smackdown is free from my "wrath". Randy Orton or as 2011 Smackdown and late 2013 to early 2014 suggest, "ratings poison" is your WWE Champion and lifetime JOBBER Jinder Mahal is the #1 contender. Under 2.5 million viewers we permanently go!

"Superstar Shake-up"... Pffffffft.

Do you want to know what needs a shake-up? WWE Management. Anybody in the WWE with a "Vice President" title and above needs evaluated. The Creative Teams need fewer YES-MEN to Vince McMahon and more people who can challenge him to become a good promoter again. WWE has access to many, many former wrestlers and even creative geniuses who successfully ran other promotions... But nope, let's continue the model of ex-Hollywood writers forcing poorly scripted lines down the wrestlers' throats, especially writers with ZERO experience in the wrestling business to begin with. And consider the total enablers of Vince McMahon's BAD ideas... I can understand Stephanie and Triple H easing up on Vince (they're family), but guys like Kevin Dunn and Michael "PS" Hayes have been there forever and don't have the insight like a Pat Patterson or a Gerald Briscoe. WWE is in good relations with Jim Ross again... Why not use him as a consultant? Maybe put him on your board of directors?

Let me make this clear... I HATE bashing the WWE for anything.

Do you think that I want to write columns where I brag about being right on declining WWE Ratings? Do you think that I take sheer joy in the WWE's failures?

NO - I'm a wrestling fan and probably even more than that, a big WWE fan.

I'm a big fan of the WWE Network and watch it all the time (I'm eating 2014-2015 crow on that). NXT is a breath of fresh air and gives you an alternative to the highly produced RAW/Smackdown shows. WWE/NXT made me like Women's Wrestling, how about that? If you read my columns from years ago, you'll know how much I disliked it even with Trish/Lita around. WWE got me to buy into Braun Strowman... He's a valid find as a developmental wrestler. They pushed AJ Styles to become WWE Champion and that was awesome. Much of Brock Lesnar's tenure has been fun.

WWE, with its Network and clever booking here & there, does just enough to keep me around as a wrestling fan. Better yet, they always keep me hopeful that if they strike gold with a wrestler to become the "next John Cena", it will be worth the wait.

I've been here before... Between mid-1992 through early 1997, it was NOT easy to be a WWE fan. Viewership during that period of time declined because of a REDUCTION IN QUALITY much like what you see now. WWE went from pushing Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, Andre the Giant, and Ultimate Warrior to headline major Wrestlemanias to pushing bad gimmicks and guys who were midcarders during that era... Oh, and those goofy Undertaker feuds. As much as we praise the Undertaker for his retirement this year, his early to mid-1990s stuff was awful! And I'll go you one further... Try being a WCW fan from 1990 through 1996 before the NWO arrived. Seriously... That will test your limits as a wrestling fan with all of the Turner stooges put in place to run that company into the ground until Eric Bischoff took charge.

Here's a definition of stupidity and laziness in the business: "Fatal 5 Way" for the #1 contendership to the WWE Universal Championship. It was just announced on RAW by Kurt Angle to start the show... Just LAZY to determine who gets to wrestle Brock Lesnar at the next disappointment of a Pay Per View.

"Kendo Stick on a Pole Match"... Seriously, WWE?


I was watching WWE: Wrestling's Greatest Factions on the WWE Network. I recommend it...

But what I saw instantly as I watched it, as Degeneration X was the first faction covered, this documentary had the FULL "Corporate Rumble" from an episode of Monday Night RAW during early 1999. If you'll recall back in the day, the storyline was that Vince McMahon wanted to do everything in his power to ensure that Steve Austin would NOT win the 1999 Royal Rumble. Meanwhile, the undercard members of the Corporation were feuding with Degeneration X at the same time. Thus, on this episode of RAW, it all came together with a "Corporate Rumble" to determine some spots in the Rumble between the Corporation and Degeneration X.

Just watch the crowd on this fun, unique match for RAW. They LOVE what they are seeing because everyone has a defined role, there is a "sense of urgency" to win this Rumble, and the match is built to create a moment that you'll never forget.

During the match, it appeared that Triple H and Big Bossman were the FINAL participants of the "Corporate Rumble". However, Vince McMahon comes walking out as he's the next participant in the Rumble. Vince runs in and tosses BOTH HHH and Bossman who were tied up in the ropes. Vince McMahon THINKS that he won the "Corporate Rumble" and celebrates with Patterson/Briscoe... But then the Degeneration X music hits and Joanie "Chyna" Laurer appears. The crowd is PUMPED because they KNOW that the heel, Vince McMahon, is going to GET HIS. At first, Pat Patterson and Gerald Briscoe are begging Chyna to not enter the Rumble and then Patterson gets a little salty ("I'll hit you") and Chyna disposes of them both. As she is about to hit the ring, Stone Cold Steve Austin's theme music hits and the CROWD EXPLODES! Vince is totally distracted by the Texas Rattlesnake and that allows Chyna to toss Vince McMahon over the ropes (he takes a horrible bump, too, with the bottom rope destroying him!). Crowd goes bananas at Steve Austin's interference and Chyna actually winning the Corporate Rumble.

As I watched Chyna celebrate, I got a little emotional... As you may know, she passed away recently and during early 1999, she was at her peak as a character, performer, and personality. I could argue that this night was her biggest moment even though she won the Intercontinental and Women's Titles later in her WWE career. Fans fully bought into the concept of Chyna as not only a key member of DX, but an Amazon female who could legitimately harm and push around male wrestlers. She was really cool back and her joining this "Corporate Rumble" was credible.

See, it's moments like this that makes you FEEL GOOD as a wrestling fan, particularly a WWE fan. You don't see stuff like this anywhere else... Like the Hardy Boyz coming back to the WWE. Remember how GREAT that felt and then they executed moves perfectly at Wrestlemania 33's Ladder Match? Ditto with Kurt Angle's WWE return... Goldberg vs. Lesnar was SO MUCH FUN to watch and only pro wrestling and/or WWE can provide something so entertaining.



"Been doing (WWE Pay Per View predictions) for almost (19) years now... You'll have to excuse me as I plaster on a fake smile and plow through this crap one more time!" -Bill Hicks

Who is Bill Hicks, by the way? He's become my favorite Comedian of all time... Been listening to him heavily for the past year to keep me entertained through some tough times. He's more of a social commentator than a one-liner joke comedian. CLICK HERE to see one of his famous specials. You'll probably thank me.

Oh, Pay Per View predictions... I'll do my usual "WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN" format, with my WHO WILL WIN being my official prediction.


Pre-Game: Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English
I heard that Dave Meltzer suggested Aiden English's recent mental breakdown was done to mock Mauro Ranallo. If true, that's pretty messed up... Not sure where the WWE is going with either character, so whatever.



Smackdown Tag Titles: Usos (c) vs. Breezango
Seriously? Breezango are the Tag Team version of Jinder Mahal. Tyler Breeze, in particular, has been owned since his WWE debut from NXT. However, the tag division is much weaker than the Main Event scene on Smackdown.



Charlotte Flair/Becky Lynch/Naomi vs. Natalya/Carmella/Tamina Snuka
I can't be the only one smelling a HEEL TURN by Charlotte in this match? Let's see, 3 heels but all 3 of which aren't of the leadership type. But Charlotte clearly could lead... Hmmm... Four Horsewomen?

WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN The heels, Natalya/Carmella/Tamina


Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan
I feel like I've watched this match recently... I'm just not into Rowan's character. Just has a look and presentation that won't get him over long-term outside of being muscle for a stable. Luke Harper, meanwhile, has proven his in-ring worth (notably by working great with Orton) but just needs to better establish his character.



Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn
Never bet on Zayn and I'll admit, Corbin is on the brink of really breaking out. That AJ Styles feud was highly beneficial to his career. Meanwhile, Zayn continues to be the jobber to the stars.



Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Zigger
Nakamura is off to a BAD start in the WWE, at least based on the storyline segments with Ziggler. Shinsuke has been made to look like a fool and Dolph's condescending tone is clearly some sort of weird backstage backlash against Nakamura. Why else would Nakamura be in NXT for a year if he was so talented?

WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Shinsuke Nakamura


US Title: Kevin Owens(c) vs. AJ Styles
Oh how the mighty have fallen... Pretty scary when you consider that by the start of 2017, both guys were World Champions of their brand. To me, I just can't see AJ Styles winning this midcard title because they'll need him in the main event... Unless we're getting John Cena vs. Randy Orton this late summer (very possible).

WHO SHOULD WIN: AJ Styles because he should rarely lose at this point.

WHO WILL WIN: Kevin Owens


WWE Title: Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
Ratings speak for themselves... HOWEVER, is it Mahal's insta-push or is it Randy Orton as champion? Remember - people weren't exactly thrilled that Orton won the 2017 Royal Rumble and then became champion again. As I stated above, viewership for Smackdown declined during 2011 when he was World Heavyweight Champion and then when he stole the WWE Title from Daniel Bryan during late 2013. I'm almost scared to see where the WWE wants to go here... I wouldn't be surprised if Mahal won and then feuds with AJ Styles next month... You know, the idea that AJ Styles will make Mahal look great and legitimate as a champion (like he did with Reigns last year). Either outcome, wrestling fans take a loss here with this match.

WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Randy Orton. I just can't see Mahal winning this in light of bad viewership numbers.


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