Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - WWE Survivor Series 2015 Predictions, RAW is Hulu Review, & Ronda Rousey Thoughts
By Mr. Tito
Nov 17, 2015 - 11:51:13 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome back to the Excellence in Column Writing by yours truly, Mr. Tito, exclusively here at / Another WWE Survivor Series is upon us for what used to be one of the most interesting shows of the year is resorted to, well, whatever is convenient booking for the time. This year, we have the semi-finals of the quickly booked WWE Title tournament caused by the ACL tear on Seth Rollins's knee. With John Cena taking time off, Randy Orton and Rusev injured, and Brock Lesnar out of contractual dates for 2015, the WWE main event bench is looking very thin. But hey, we have the Undertaker NOT wrestling in the WWE Title tournament but appearing on Survivor Series as an added bonus.

But as questionable as Survivor Series 2015 can be, you can at least be guaranteed 3 hours of action. It's unlike other athletic events on Pay Per View which can deliver severe letdowns. WWE has the tactical advantage of being able to manufacture superstars and controlling the outcome of its events. Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) does not and their cards can often let you down.

Ultimate Fighting Championship presented a shocker this weekend in the form of Ronda Rousey enduring her very first lost and UFC Banterweight Title loss at the hands of Holly Holm. Now, I'm NOT going to present my thoughts on this event, how it happened, etc... Far from it. I don't watch enough MMA to even intelligently comment on how or why Rousey lost or why Holm won. I just saw highlights of Holm kicking Rousey's face off and I went "DAMN!".

No, what I want to discuss is why WWE has a tactical advantage over unscripted events... For example, do most of you now get why John Cena has dominated over the past decade? Cena's SummerSlam 2014 domination from Lesnar and clean loss to Alberto Del Rio at Hell in a Cell 2015 are RARE events... John Cena has dominated his competition and only loses when interference or some other form of cheating occurs. Often, John Cena gets that win back. He has been kept consistently strong for the last 10 years... Why? Because WWE can.... WWE is fully scripted and can therefore protect their top stars and keep them strong as their top stars. WWE wants John Cena to remain their #1 merchandise seller and #1 houseshow draw. Why? Because that is good for WWE business. Cena looking weak would kill his appeal to wrestling fans and any casual fans alike.

Losses are FAR MORE DEVASTATING in Boxing and MMA because those are legitimate athletic competitions with real outcomes. Ronda Rousey will have to work hard, overcome Holly Holm in a rematch (possibly have to fight her a 3rd time), and then probably prove herself against a better opponent in the future. But again, she has to really accomplish that. That's unlike John Cena who can lose to Seth Rollins but then repeatedly beat Rollins afterward because that's what Vince McMahon's scripting called for. Rousey doesn't have the luxury of scripting for her comeback. She has a real risk of becoming the next Mike Tyson who was never dominant after James "Buster" Douglas shocked the world and beat Tyson for the World Title. While Tyson would draw well against Evander Holyfield in the later years, he was never the same as a boxer (time in prison hurt, too).

Before Rousey lost on Saturday night, she was winning matches in 30 seconds or less. So you're paying $60 per event or like the WWE Network, $9.99 for UFC Fight Pass online, to see Ronda Rousey and you get a 30 second fight? Even this past fight versus Holly Holm... It lasted 1 round plus a few moments in the second round. Sure, you get other midcard fights, but what you ultimately paid for only provides minutes, if not seconds, of real action. Compare that to a WWE event... 3 hours packed with 6-9 matches and has more consistency in delivering a quality matches. Like clockwork... 2015 has consistently delivered good WWE Pay Per View events and has delivered other content on the WWE Network for just $9.99 as well.

Now, the real question is this... Does Ronda Rousey still have mainstream drawing appeal that could benefit the WWE? In my opinion, it's all about how she responds to this loss. If she wins her rematch or two against Holly Holm and re-establishes herself as the dominant force against other opponents, then yes, she can regain her drawing power. Right now, most are mocking her for being overhyped and losing... But if she wins her UFC Title back and returns to form, she'll be fine. Others in boxing and UFC have endured big losses and returned to form. Others have not...

And let's NOT compare Ronda Rousey to Brock Lesnar, OK? For one, Brock Lesnar was a former WWE wrestler and so therefore, he had built-in appeal from WWE fans. If you think that pure MMA fans were pumping those UFC buyrates to 1,000,000 and beyond, get real. Wrestling fans tuned in to follow Lesnar's epic climb in UFC. Additionally, Lesnar had serious health problems with his intestines in UFC. Had Lesnar remained healthy, he might not have lost and may still be in UFC to this day. Most fans know this and he still appears to be the most dangerous human being on earth. With Rousey, she lost a fight in which she was favored to win and got whooped. Big difference... And Rousey has no former WWE history. While I enjoyed him in the WWE, Ken Shamrock wasn't exactly drawing big numbers moving from UFC to WWE during 1997-1999. Productive, yes, but top draw... Eh, no.

And in my opinion, the NXT bench is DEEP... Why spend millions on Ronda Rousey when you can manufacture someone to appear as the "most dangerous woman" like Asuka. If you haven't seen her destroy opponents in NXT yet, go spend $9.99 on WWE Network or get Hulu to check it out. And again, the WWE booking can guarantee that Asuka can never lose or be cleanly defeated. WWE controls the environment and culture and can therefore make a handful of Ronda Rouseys off the assembly line if they wish. To Triple H's credit, he's recruited amazing depth in NXT insomuch that they can lose Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch and still have a loaded roster of good female performers.

That's why I get pissed off at the WWE for exposing its own business and appearing too scripted. NXT works because the wrestlers there are selling that their show is a legitimate athletic competition. No 20 minute in-ring interviews to start the show, the midcard titles mean something, and wrestlers have real rivalries that are meaningful and deliver. Just look at how different Triple H acts in NXT compared to WWE. He's a stupid "Authority" figure in the WWE but he's like a UFC/boxing promoter in UFC.

If WWE only injected some realism into their product, they wouldn't be mocked for its scripted ways and could possibly steal MMA's spotlight.



X - Tyler Breeze vs. R-Truth
X - New Day vs. Usos/Ryback

First and foremost, I'm getting tired of the criticisms that I'm a "snob" for constantly discussing "cutting the cord" in this column. For one, I sort of have to reiterate WHY I'm reviewing the Hulu version of RAW. I get repeat questions why I'm not reviewing the full 3 hour version of RAW as it airs on Monday Nights... Truth is that I can't... Therefore, I can't lie to my audience here by saying that I reviewed the FULL RAW on USA Networks when I'm truly reviewing the 1.5 hour edition of RAW on Hulu. I have to disclaim what I'm reviewing...

Geesh. Many of you act like you haven't read a Tito column before... What is different now from the 17 freakin' years that I've done this? Ditto for people getting mad over my "Excellence in Column Writing" and other Tito stuff that I write in my intro. So... You log into a pro wrestling column and you're not expecting to get a bit played by the host who calls himself "Mr. Tito"? Good God... Hard to say that I have an "ego" when (a) I write these columns for FREE, (b) I'm more than generous to my loyal readers, and (c) I've done many things to help others around the website (inventor of the Columns Forum). For the love of Christ, I'm providing you FREE entertainment that you can freely comment on down below. I've consistently delivered at least 1 weekly column per week... What more do you want?

Oh, I have to review RAW...

I really LOVE Undertaker and Kane back together again. It fits... They have a long history together and after years of battling, it makes sense to unite to fight a common cause as veterans. Plus, the "Corporate Kane" stuff was awful and ditto for the alternate persona storyline with the "Demon Kane". Now, he's back to being the Undertaker's brother and by his side when nobody else is willing to help him. Notice how quickly that Corporate Kane stuff has been erased? Good promo by the Undertaker, as I've always liked his mic work, and then the Wyatts appear. Instead of taking advantage of a 4 on 2 type deal, they send in Druids instead... Small ones to be exact which makes for a nice looking Chokeslam I suppose. Still baffled why we aren't getting a 4 on 4 Survivor Series match between Wyatts and Kane/Undertaker +2. Throw in the Acolytes or a combo of veterans like Sting/Big Show, something... Good way to introduce Baron Corbin and someone else form NXT. Why not?

Damn Neville was ON FIRE during his match with Kevin Owens. But that's as much of a compliment to Owens as it is Neville... Owens everything perfectly and appeared to be the weight of a feather for Neville. That snap German in the corner, for example, and then the reverse Frankensteiner (yes, I call it that... First saw Scott Steiner do it in WCW and I'll give him his due!). Great RAW match between the 2 and both had strong reactions from the crowd. Good job!

Triple H was backstage talking to the various WWE Title tournament members as a possible sign that WWE is hyping controversy for the WWE Title this Sunday. Hmmm... The Cesaro stuff was funny with the "brass ring" mentions.

Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler was damn good... How are these guys not candidates for top babyface in the WWE? Oh hell, main eventers on any level... Both can work and both always appear to seem like they really enjoy their jobs as wrestlers when in that ring. And both guys have been forced to eat spoonfuls of crap by WWE Creative. WWE could have used Tyler Breeze to interfere here, but I'm for the clean win benefiting Dean Ambrose here.

Makes me wonder if the wrestling gear makes Roman Reigns slower? Or appear slower? Then again, Reigns wrestled Cesaro and that guy wrestles at full speed... Just seems like Reigns isn't moving efficiently out there. I'm amazed at how safe Cesaro was on the Giant Swing on Reigns and then converted it first into a Sharpshooter and then a Crippler Crossface. Just talent... To Reigns's credit, he power lifted Cesaro for a nice counter ot the Crossface for a slam. Wait a second... So Reigns's running kick on the outside corner is called a "DRIVE BY" by announcer Michael Cole and yet Seth Rollins wasn't allowed to have a move called the "Curb Stomp"? Another nice display of power by Reigns to deadlift Cesaro out of a hold and into a powerbomb. Lots of boos for the set up to the Superman Punch, not good, and then Cesaro counters the punch to hit a beautiful uppercut. CRAZY counters by Cesaro to avoid multiple signatures moves of Reigns's, but eventually Reigns hit those moves to get the win.

What on earth is the WWE missing here no Cesaro? While Reigns is improving in the ring, he was totally carried to one of his best singles matches to date by Cesaro. Just watch how Cesaro (a) sells offense by Reigns and (b) counters moves uniquely. What the hell, Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn, and Triple H? You say that Cesaro needs to grab a "brass ring" but I see him with fistfulls of golden rings. Idiotic WWE.

Many are upset at the brief tribute WWE had for Nick Bockwinkel mostly due to the encouragement to go to to see videos of Nick. Meh, I know that Bockwinkel was put in the WWE Hall of Fame, but he was an AWA loyal wrestler. WWE just mentioning the guy is good enough and showing a brief video package won't do that guy's career justice. Let the fans explore Nick's career for themselves.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto was up next... Like I said, THIN WWE Main Event bench when Kalisto is one of your Final 8 in the WWE Title tournament. What, the Miz, Sheamus, or Jack Swagger, former WWE World Champions, weren't available to make the quarterfinals? Alberto Del Rio is in amazing shape but just looks so out of place with Zeb Colter. Fans are sort of quiet for this match but then again, fans gave Reigns vs. Cesaro lots of energy. OK match, but lacking in psychology to adequately link fans emotions to the match. BRUTAL finish by Del Rio as he pretty much stomped on Kalisto while Kalisto was hanging on the ropes. Looked quite sick in fast motion.

Not a bad Final 4.... But yikes, getting there was a bit rough. WWE's bench is very thin right now in terms of valid wrestlers who could Main Event for the WWE.

The MAIN EVENT segment was the Contract Signing between Paige and Charlotte... Wow, the respect given I suppose. 3rd hour of RAW didn't dip below 3 million viewers this week, unlike last week, so I guess they didn't lose viewers... Somehow, Michael Cole tries to tell fans that both were great fans in NXT. Yeah, not many people saw that... Charlotte gets emotional with their family links to the wrestling business and Charlotte gets deep into her brother Reid's death. Charlotte wrestles because of Reid and praised Paige for being there for her during that time. Oh damn, Charlotte cut pretty deep on that promo. Good for her. Paige rips Ric Flair, which prompts emotion, and then Paige says "little brother didn't have much fight in him, did he?". POOR TASTE... I was expecting to give this the Tito famous "Finger of Shame" when I read the spoilers (to me, Hulu viewer), but seeing the context of the segment, I'm sort of OK with it. After all, Charlotte had to OK the use of that and it certainly put some heat on this match for Survivor Series 2015. Nice brawl to end the show. I don't condone what was said, but it somehow worked to build Paige into a hated heel against Charlotte who needed a babyface chip on her shoulder.

LAST WORD: I enjoyed this week's show overall... Considering how weak the WWE roster is without Lesnar, Orton, Rusev, Rollins, and Cena, the WWE put together a decent RAW to hype a Pay Per View. I've seen much worse... Good matches tonight, that's for damn sure. B+



SMACKDOWN will announce another match which you can read about on LoP by CLICKING HERE. My prediction is that the HEEL will win that match via outside interference although the FACE "should" win in my opinion.

There is also a 5 on 5 Survivor Series match added without competitors named. Given my other predictions, I'll select the BABYFACE team to win this match.


Divas Title: Charlotte (c) vs. Paige
Can we actually let Charlotte wrestle? She's a tremendous athlete and has a nice resume from NXT to prove that she can work big matches. Instead, WWE Creative has handcuffed her with poor storytelling such as the leg injury or just letting Nikki Bella dominate her. Again, watch those NXT matches... Charlotte can go. Hopefully, Paige can be more generous in the ring to Charlotte than Paige...

WHO SHOULD WIN: Charlotte. If she loses here, it completely undercuts her championship which was poorly booked from the start. WWE has struggled to utilize Paige in the past and I'm just worried they haven't figured her out yet.

WHO WILL WIN: Paige, just because it could be perceived that Charlotte is "struggling" as Divas Champ. I disagree with that, but I could see Vince McMahon wanting to make a quick title change.


WWE Title Semi-Final: Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio
I predict that for 2016, we'll see Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio as a regular feud... In fact, I'll be BOLD and predict that this may be the WWE Title match at Wrestlemania 32. Both of these guys are Vince McMahon favorites and I wouldn't doubt that the outcome here will plant seeds for that 2016 feud. Many are boldly predicting that Roman Reigns may turn HEEL later in the night. I disagree... He's Vince's chosen babyface and in my opinion, he's actually improved lately... Better in the ring and he seems to be gaining more confidence with time. However, he's still awful on the microphone... But I just don't see 2 things happening... (a) Reigns turning heel and (b) becoming WWE Champion now. I believe that WWE wants to give Reigns a big push and let Wrestlemania 32 become that big moment.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Roman Reigns... Yes, seriously. He should win and only because I think that Alberto Del Rio needs better WWE Creative direction for his character. He's already damaged by a lame pairing with Zeb Colter. Seriously, MexAmericans? Is that the best that you have for a guy in the shape of his life?

WHO WILL WIN: The heel wins, Alberto Del Rio. He did beat John Cena cleanly last month and I guess he has momentum... Plus, if Del Rio is WWE Champion, that means that John Cena can wrestle for the WWE Title at Royal Rumble when Cena returns. Yup.


WWE Title Semi-Final: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
If I predicted the heel in my other match, then I have to go babyface in this match... WWE appears to be OK with Kevin Owens remaining strong in the midcard but possibly not going beyond that at the moment. I could see WWE wanting to try Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns later in the night but I don't see WWE officials wanting Dean Ambrose to get larger pops than Reigns in a match.



WWE Title Finals: Alberto Del Rio vs. Dean Ambrose
Heel vs. babyface match-up. I could see Ambrose getting screwed out of this match and then facing Del Rio in a hard fought rematch at the TLC Pay Per View in December. Then, Alberto Del Rio retains the WWE Title and goes on to fight John Cena at Royal Rumble 2016. Maybe we'll get Del Rio vs. Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 32? Maybe the WWE boldly goes with John Cena vs. Roman Reigns instead? Early reports have John Cena vs. Undertaker but we haven't seen that match yet and until I see that booking in stone, I'll believe it when I see it.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Dean Ambrose. It is baffling to me how the WWE keeps missing on this guy. He was quite over during 2014 but the WWE kept tearing him down by repeat Pay Per View loss after loss. I don't get it.

WHO WILL WIN: Alberto Del Rio... That's right, we'll get more tournament action on RAW with the US Title being stripped after Del Rio wins the WWE Title. Then again, like Seth Rollins, Del Rio could somehow hold both belts...


Kane/Undertaker vs. Wyatt Family
Why can't this match be a 4 on 4 Survivor Series match between Kane/Undertaker + 2 against all 4 members of the Wyatt Family? Why can't the WWE get the booking right? I don't care if we get an older Ron Simmons and JBL as the other 2, make it 4 on 4 as a Survivor Series match. Why on earth is it a tag match? My guess is that we'll see Harper and Rowan so that Kane/Undertaker can win the match on Undertaker's anniversary show.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Wyatt Family steals a win to keep this feud going and to help Bray Wyatt be built up and get his Undertaker loss from Wrestlemania 31 back.

WHO WILL WIN: Undertaker and Kane... Taker just lost 2 matches in a row to Brock Lesnar and will be built up strong for one last ride for Wrestlemania 32.


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