Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - WWE SummerSlam 2016 Predictions and RAW/Smackdown Reasons for Lower Ratings
By Mr. Tito
Aug 18, 2016 - 12:36:26 AM

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Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at / by yours truly, Mr. Tito. Just by posting this wrestling column, I instantly offend many... And I'm sure to offend by tonight's opening rant...

4 weeks into the Brand Split, following the Draft, it's apparent that RAW is now permanently under 3 million viewers and Smackdown is now permanently under 2.5 million viewers. Thus, RAW has regressed in viewership and Smackdown's ratings, though up slightly from recent months, is back to where the viewership was through April 2016. Thus far, it is proven that the "Tito Theory as to Why the Brand Split WON'T Work" was correct because (a) WWE Roster is too thin to split up and (b) Creative infrastructure did not improve to make both shows unique.

But do you want to know the REAL reason why RAW and Smackdown are a big sluggish out of the Brand Extension gate?

Look no further than the WORLD TITLE match-ups for SummerSlam 2016.

Since Survivor Series 2014 when Dolph Ziggler helped defeat the Authority, he's done nothing but lose feud after feud. Thus, for about a year and a half, the WWE has marketed Dolph Ziggler as an elevation guy and THEN they give him a SummerSlam WWE Title shot. Wasn't this guy recently struggling to defeat NXT call-up Baron Corbin? Isn't Ziggler one of the few victories that Tyler Breeze actually has on the WWE roster? And I could go on and on... But now, Smackdown is pushing Dolph Ziggler as a WWE Title contender at SummerSlam when guys like John Cena, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, and Bray Wyatt are on the same roster?!?

Between the Shield break-up and his Money in the Bank 2016 WWE Title victory, all Dean Ambrose did was lose. Just look up his Pay Per View match-ups and do the math... Nothing but losing! And yet, he's just handed the WWE Title after years of destructive booking. On top of that, his promo work has been a bit too loose and rambling. Doesn't help matters that his Steve Austin Podcast appearance was a bit odd. Good thing he's a strong in-ring performer to help carry the workload but as a babyface draw, he can be a head scratcher. Odd promo work on top of years upon years of losses in big events...

Yeah - Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler is NOT drawing.

Then, onto the RAW brand... For the entire show of RAW, Seth Rollins was looking for the "Demon King". I was like... Since when did WWE hire Legend of Zelda's top villain who has held the "Demon King" title for years, Ganon. Cool, maybe Ganon will come out to the arena, flash the glowing Triforce of Power on his hand, and turn into a large warthog monster to destroy everything in sight. But oh no, Seth Rollins is referring to a 190 pound Cruiserweight under 6' foot tall who paints himself up on occasion named Finn Balor.

And then the "Demon King" came out... He was actually painted up to appear and I'm instantly like... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Looked ridiculous.

THIS is the guy going for the RAW brand's World Title, the WWE Universal Title? Really? Looked completely awkward trying to do his entrance under the big WWE lights. And he had lots of words written all over him, too. That's your World Title contender against a legitimate performer named Seth Rollins.

Great non-wrestling story for you... Have you ever heard of the hairband W.A.S.P.? Their lead singer, Blackie Lawless, used to do various stage antics in attempts to draw in crowds to their live shows. Lawless once had the great idea to have a Fireworks device strapped to his crotch area so that fireworks could shoot from his private area to impress fans. Well, one night that device malfunctioned and Lawless suffered high degree burns on his legs and well, his private area. After the injury, do you know what he told his bandmates backstage? "We wouldn't have to do this if we wrote better songs!"

So take that story about the great hairband W.A.S.P. and figure out how I feel about a painted up Finn Balor.

Yeah - Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor is NOT drawing.

RAW is in a bad place right now, too... One week, you're a younger John Cena fan watching RAW on Monday nights and thanks to the Brand Split, John Cena no longer works Mondays. He has been there since 2005 and is the company's top star. GONE. RAW is completely void of superstars besides Seth Rollins and part-time Brock Lesnar while Smackdown has several big stars and they are trying to push the losing Dolph Ziggler down our throats as a contender?

Creative Team's early handling of the Brand Split has been a DISASTER...

BUT - The SummerSlam 2016 match-ups booked could present good in-ring work. It just lacks any logic and drawing ability. Particularly those World Title matches.

Speaking of SummerSlam...



Cesaro vs. Sheamus

WHO SHOULD WIN/WHO WILL WIN: I don't care. Cesaro?


Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho vs. Enzo & Big Cass
Hot opener... Heels looked stronger on RAW, so the opposite happens on Pay Per view.



Alexa Bliss/Eva Marie/Natalya vs. Naomi/Becky Lynch/Carmella
This match is a pizza break... Eva Maria is going to pull something to help the heels win...

WHO SHOULD WIN/WHO WILL WIN: Alexa, Eva, and Natalya


Tag Titles: New Day (c) vs. Anderson/Gallows
That doctor angle by Anderson/Gallows was rough to watch... Those two are just not panning out in the WWE, but hopefully, a good in-ring match this Sunday helps turns thing around.



Women's Title: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte
Hard to call this one... I still don't like how WWE hotshotted the title on the 1st Brand Extension RAW and having Sasha Banks lose would quickly confirm that Sasha winning on that RAW was a bad idea. On RAW, it seemed that Charlotte and Brooke got the better of Sasha and I'll go with that to influence my prediction.

WHO SHOULD WIN/WHO WILL WIN: Sasha Banks. Too early in her reign to lose.


Intercontinental Title: Miz (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Miz has just been non-stop terrible since the Brand Split. Just get the title off of him already.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Apollo Crews

WHO WILL WIN: The Miz... Hard to bet against a Vince/Dunn darling.


US Title: Rusev (c) vs. Roman Reigns
Not surprising, this has been a GOOD feud. Why? The pressure is off Roman Reigns and he seems much more relaxed out of the spotlight. Plus, the WWE has effectively incorporated the Rusev/Lana wedding into a decent storyline.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Rusev. Let Roman Reigns keep chasing Rusev and keep this feud alive. It's been good so far.

WHO WILL WIN: Roman Reigns. I never bet against the Empire.


John Cena vs. AJ Styles
TOUGH match to call, as I have 2 SummerSlams in the past that I can recall (Punk in 2011, Bryan in 2013) where Cena was unselfish. I think he respects AJ Styles enough to possibly let Styles win. Plus, if Dean Ambrose retains which I think he will, Ambrose needs a HEEL opponent. AJ Styles is a perfect complement and Styles/Ambrose fights would be battles. Still, with the ratings lower, I wouldn't doubt that John Cena MEGA PUSH will return.

WHO SHOULD WIN: John Cena. He shouldn't be the one elevating talent.

WHO WILL WIN: AJ Styles and he'll feud with Ambrose over the WWE Title. I think.


WWE Universal Title: Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor, I mean "Demon King"
You would think that the WWE would deliver the painted up Finn Balor on Pay Per View instead of for free on RAW. Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if the WWE pulls the trigger on Balor. At the very least, Balor winning the WWE Universal Title gets people talking because he's new. Giving it to Seth Rollins seems too obvious and RAW needs something to hype for the next Pay Per View.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Seth Rollins, the only real Main Eventer on the RAW brand.

WHO WILL WIN: Finn Balor. I think it will happen and sets up Pay Per View rematch. Watch out for Jon Stewart, who is confirmed for SummerSlam as a celebrity guest.


WWE Title: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
This match is just "something to do" for Dean Ambrose as other viable title contenders (Styles, Cena, Orton) are tied up with big matches at SummerSlam. I would say that it's "bad business" to give the World Title to someone who has lost so much in the last 2-3 years, but Dean Ambrose has a very similar losing resume. Still, I don't see a serious Dolph Ziggler push and title run. I just don't.

WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Dean Ambrose. Let Ambrose retain the WWE Title and let AJ Styles chase after the WWE Title next. Styles/Ambrose could be off the hooks!


Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton
Brock Lesnar has just over a year and a half on his current 3 year, $9 million deal left... Sadly, this is one of the last "dream matches" left in the holster. Yes, Comments section, we're talking Ohio Valley wrestling WWE developmental territory "Class of 2002" call-ups here which WWE actually used to help hype this match. Lesnar and Orton, besides 1 Smackdown encounter during 2002 I believe, have not wrestled against each other when both were main event level wrestlers. As I've argued repeatedly now for about 2 years, Orton presents Lesnar with a good match-up because Randy has the offense that is credible enough to potentially hurt him. RKO, DDT through the ropes, and the Punt Kick. HOWEVER, if you've watched enough Randy Orton matches, he doesn't like leaving the ground when not on his terms. Do you expect Randy Orton to take German Suplexes?

WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Randy Orton will defeat Brock Lesnar and probably set-up a quick rematch at one of the Fall Pay Per Views. Brock Lesnar's failed drug tests following UFC 200 has consequences and I believe that WWE wants to give Randy Orton one last push. I'm a bit worried about the Wyatts and Orton staring each other down on Smackdown last night, but I'll still lean towards WWE briefly punishing Brock Lesnar for his actions.

Enjoy the show!


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