Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - WWE's Build-Up for Wrestlemania 31 Has Been So Depressing...
By Mr. Tito
Mar 10, 2015 - 11:13:18 PM

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Let's see here... I have followed Wrestlemania since 1989. I became a full blown wrestling fan during late 1988 after seeing a VHS recording of NWA/WCW's Clash of the Champions event headlined by the 45 minute draw between Sting and Ric Flair. I was aware of HULKAMANIA during 1987-1988 as it was talked about often in elementary school, but didn't watch the shows reguarly until Sting/Flair inspired me to watch. Since then, Wrestlemania was always that time of year, like the Super Bowl, where you looked forward to high quality entertainment. Even when the WWE had awful years, 1993-1997 come to mind, the Wrestlemania events would still deliver something (except Wrestlemanias 9 and 11, I hate those two events). I have to come clean... I did still follow the Wrestlemania events during my "dark period" where I did watch wrestling between mid-2007 and late 2009. I'm still blown away by the Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker match at Wrestlemania 25. My lord...

But for 2015, not so much... I'm NOT looking forward to Wrestlemania 31..

In fact, I really enjoyed the first 4 months of the year for pro wrestling because it was the stretch between Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, and the brief aftermath (loved those "Backlash" PPV events!). Not 2015... During late 2014, you could see the bullshit beginning to grow... Backstage reports began surfacing that WWE officials wanted Roman Reigns to not only win the Royal Rumble, but to defeat Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title at Wrestlemania 31. I called "bullshit" on this at first, but then I started seeing Dean Ambrose losing repeatedly at Pay Per View after Pay Per View. He was Bray Wyatt's bitch... Then, Daniel Bryan returned and guess who returned to being Bray Wyatt's bitch as well? Both guys were naturally over as babyfaces and yet WWE Officials wanted to deny what the fans wanted. Should have known...

Roman Reigns is NOT ready to carry the WWE Corporation as the WWE Title holder, let alone the top babyface. We're hearing either silence or "Roman Sucks/You Can't Wrestle" during his matches. I NEVER and I mean NEVER heard YOU CAN'T WRESTLE yelled at John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, Steve Austin, Rock, or Brock Lesnar on their way up to the WWE Title. Ever. Better yet, I've never heard YOU CAN'T WRESTLE towards current WWE developmental call-ups such as Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Rusev, etc. Yet, that chant is yelled repeatedly at Roman Reigns, the hand picked top babyface by WWE officials. What the hell is stuck in their ears? Better yet, why hasn't the WWE been able to brag about how well Roman Reigns can push merchandise or letting him headline houseshows? Oh yeah, nothing to report and Roman can't draw.

Not to say that Roman Reigns can't become a top superstar... Many of the top draws in the wrestling business took years upon years to develop into the top guy. For 2015, Roman is NOT ready. He's struggling in his matches against top talent (nobody can name me a "great" mach he had), either not drawing crowd reactions or gets negative reactions, not selling merchandise, and he's forced to cling to his Shield gimmick (look & theme music) because he needs it. Both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose changed up their looks and theme music after the Shield. Why can't Roman give it up? My issue with Roman is that he needs some work. Unlike Rollins and Ambrose, he lacks actual experience. He was born and bred in the WWE Developmental system and appears to be too reliant on the crutches of WWE officials who signed him only because of his look.

Roman should work in the midcard for a while, get over as an Intercontinental or United States Champion, and if the fans like him in that role, push him... Again, look at the histories of John Cena, Triple H, Steve Austin, and Rock. All were midcard single wrestler sensations and champions first, then received the main event push next. He's way too green as a singles wrestler and yet he's expected to look credible in defeating Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31. Lesnar is just the guy who has beat Triple H, CM Punk, Big Show, Undertaker (ending the streak), John Cena (destroyed him), and John Cena/Seth Rollins in the past 2 years... But an unproven Roman Reigns, who is NOT OVER, is going to be "the man" to defeat him? Just hilarious and indicative of a broken WWE.

Just look at that Intercontinental Title Ladder Match... I could easily argue that there exists multiple wrestlers FAR MORE WORTHY during 2015 to be WWE Champion than Roman Reigns at this point in his career. Could you imagine how big Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, and Daniel Bryan could be if they ever received favorable booking? All 3 wrestlers have been torn down after getting naturally over and impressing everybody with their in-ring abilities.

Getting back to Wrestlemania 31... Look at who is actually on this card. All time greats like Triple H, John Cena, Randy Orton, Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and Sting. Those guys, alone, should be driving up interest in this event. Yet, the WWE Title match with Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar is a major downer. This is spite of Seth Rollins (against Orton), Bray Wyatt (against Undertaker), and Rusev (against John Cena) getting amazing opportunities to have "Wrestlemania moments". Yet, it's the guy less qualified to be WWE Champion than Rollins, Wyatt, and Rusev who will be winning the WWE Title AND defeating Brock Lesnar. The thought of suffering through the "Roman Empire" for the entire summer is really sucking the life out of the WWE right now.

And things are getting worse...

- Bill DeMott steps down as NXT Trainer. I actually got into a debate on Bill DeMott's actual contributions to WWE Developmental. I stated that he presided as Head Trainer from 2011-2015 as many of the current developmental call-ups were still at NXT. Jim Ross backed me up on giving credit to DeMott as a trainer. I AM IN NO WAY CONDONING ANY OF THE ALLEGATIONS, but just questioning why those who enjoy NXT can't give this guy any credit for helping them train to become WWE wrestlers. You can't just walk into the WWE with the stiffer indy style. Vince McMahon wants training and filtering to occur his way and DeMott not only oversaw that from 2011-2015, but he was also around in WWE developmental during 2004-2007.

But the point being, it's a key WWE position that was just lost. We'll see how good the trainers below DeMott truly are or if Prince Albert/Tenzai/A-Train can easily step in as the head guy. It's unnecessary turmoil in the farm system which is supposed to help the future...

- Triple H & Stephanie McMahon become WWE Board Members. For the WWE Corporation to function well, they need the Board of Directors to be able to criticize Executive Management in place. However, the Executives are now Board Members... It's bad enough that nepotism is hurting the WWE. In the past, Vince McMahon had great wrestling minds like Jim Ross, Gerald Briscoe, Pat Patterson, Jim Cornette, and other veterans surrounding him and giving him advise on how to run the WWE promotion. Now, he has his communications major daughter and his son-in-law in his ear (along with Kevin Dunn, Executive Producer). There is a lack of governance of their executives in the WWE Corporation and just assures problems down the road.

- WWE Network is Expensive. Maybe with time, the WWE will significantly rise above the 1,000,000 United States subscription number, but right now, the WWE is losing money. Their Net Income for 2014, according to WWE's 10-K, was a LOSS of $30.1 million compared to a gain of $2.8 million for 2013. Maybe better planning could have been in place for how expensive bandwidth costs could be from streaming video, especially for live events. WWE needs to make the Network more cost effective while considering expense reduction in other areas. See why the WWE might be balking at signing Brock Lesnar to another expensive extension?

- Brock Lesnar may embarrass WWE at Wrestlemania 31. If I were WWE officials, I would seriously consider placing Triple H vs. Sting as the Main Event of Wrestlemania 31. Why? Just watch Wrestlemania 20... Brock Lesnar thought he was wrestling in his last match during 2004 against Bill Goldberg and the match was very subpar for him. Fans unloaded on it... If Brock Lesnar is truly pissed at the WWE for any recent negotiations (walking out of RAW and appearing at a recent UFC event are good signs), then he might "dog it" in his match against Roman Reigns. And based on the lackluster reaction that Roman Reigns is receiving, I guarantee that Lesnar is approached by wrestling fans and is mocked repeatedly for having to job to an inexperienced Roman Reigns. I'm sure that Lesnar will "do business" at Wrestlemania 31, but that doesn't mean effort will be there. Besides, why risk injury if he has a lucrative MMA career ahead of him?

Wrestlemania 31, in my opinion, is in BIG trouble unless a few audibles are called to repair the show. And no, I'm not talking about jamming Daniel Bryan into the WWE Title match as the WWE did last year. Keep Bryan in that Intercontinental Title match if you wish... As I said before, the real "savior" of Wrestlemania 31 could be and should be Seth Rollins. He more than proved himself against both John Cena and Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble 2015, along with much of 2014-2015 as a heel personality and an amazing in-ring worker. REWARD HIM for being successful. Let Rollins finally cash-in that Money in the Bank briefcase and let him walk out of Wrestlemania 31 as WWE Champion.

Then, with Seth Rollins as WWE Champion, let Roman Reigns chase him and maybe make SummerSlam 2015 become Roman's shining moment. On the way to chasing Seth Rollins, wrestlers like Rusev and Bray Wyatt just so happen to get in the way. If Roman is able to outshine Rusev and Bray Wyatt in matches between Wrestlemania and SummerSlam, then I'll buy the Roman Reigns stock. But if Reigns bombs in his matches against Rollins, Wyatt, and Rusev, then you have an "exit plan" by depushing Reigns and pushing Rollins, Wyatt, and Rusev instead. It's so simple...

Again - Let me reiterate. Reigns could be the next great superstar for the future. But for 2015, he's just NOT ready.

But I'm not willing to endure a summer of Roman Reigns as an overpushed WWE Champion. I already ate spoonfuls of bullshit when other wrestlers like Sheamus, Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio, and Miz were given World Title reigns despite not being ready to carry such a responsibility. Funny how damaged all 4 of those wrestlers still are after those premature World Title reigns. Don't add Roman Reigns to that list, please... Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it! (George Santayana).

If Roman Reigns walks out of Wrestlemania 31 as WWE Champion and then has an extensive WWE Title reign for much of the summer, I'm DONE with the WWE. I don't need to keep watching a wrestling promotion that no longer wants me as a fan. It's heartbreaking, too, because I've followed the WWE closely since late 1988 when I was a 3rd grader. I'll give other promotions a chance for some coverage instead. With so many entertainment options out there (thank you Netflix), I'm not as dependent on a struggling WWE to be entertained. Other things can be watched on Monday nights.

Life goes on...


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