Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Why Triple H Will Never Challenge Vince McMahon, Eva Marie's WWE Heat, and more
By Mr. Tito
Nov 29, 2015 - 12:52:35 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING here by yours truly, Mr. Tito, that is exclusively here at / I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and hope that heading into December, everyone has a great Christmas season or any other Holiday they may celebrate.

Lots of reaction from my LAST COLUMN in which I assessed the WWE from top to bottom in terms of its talent pushed and how it develops stars. Many internet fans are upset at how NXT wrestlers are quickly neutered as they debut on the WWE roster. Just look at any of the Divas right now that were called up during the summer in Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch. Many NXT fans are worried sick about what happens with Finn Balor, Baron Corbin, or Apollo Crews once Vince McMahon sizes them up and gives them whatever role on WWE shows. It could be anything... Go ask Fandango and Adam Rose how their gimmicks have marginalized any seriousness they had as wrestlers.

As I keep reiterating, Vince McMahon will only change if and only if his surrounding backstage managers can persuade him. In the past, he had Jim Ross constantly disagreeing with him on talent and direction while Vince trusted Pat Patterson with booking ideas. With time, Vince McMahon let Vince Russo have more of a say once ratings results came in... WWE locker room used to be full of ex-wrestlers who acted as road agents and other roles. But that has changed since the WWE became more Corporate and many of those wrestling veterans or other key talent from the Attitude Era has moved on. Now, Vince's inner circle consists of his Daughter Stephanie McMahon, Son-in-Law Triple H, and his Best Friend and longtime WWE Executive Producer Kevin Dunn. None of those 3 will EVER stand up tin Vince McMahon aside from a few instances (Triple H now being successful pushing Sheamus repeatedly).

Thanks to Vince McMahon's success as the top manager and WWE's growth from the past, Stephanie, HHH, and Dunn are independently wealthy beyond their wildest imaginations. Even if going to work at the WWE is a chore, they are financially better off than most Americans by a margin. If letting Vince McMahon have his way is a trade-off for an amazing lifestyle, so be it.

But on my point about Triple H, think about what Vince McMahon and the WWE has done for him...

- They hired him as a 24 year old with just 3 years of wrestling experience to join the main WWE roster.

- Promised to push him as a Singles wrestler. WCW wanted him to remain a Tag Team Wrestler.

- Gave him a new name and ditched the ridiculous French gimmick given to him by WCW. The "HHH" abbreviation was created by design and "Triple H" is a household name.

- Company was serious about a singles push during 1996... Then, Triple H did the "Curtain Call" incident in which he broke character to celebrate with the departing Scott Hall and Kevin Nash at Madison Square Garden. WWE didn't fire him for that... Looking back at it now, it was the best lesson in humility that Triple H ever had.

- Said "yes" to bringing Chyna. Yes, remember her? She was vital to his 1996-1998 run, always loyal, and helped get him over as a heel bigtime. She doesn't get enough credit as she should, but without her, do fans care as much about HHH as a midcarder during 1996-1997 before Degeneration X?

- Granted creative control over his character during the Degernation X days.

- Signed Triple H to a big contract through late 1998 despite a bad knee injury. There were talks, then, about the main event push that would happen in 1999.

- Made him WWE Champion during late 1999 and pushed him to Stone Cold's spot on the roster.

- Gave him Stephanie McMahon... Both as a character and love interest on WWE shows, as she was quite vital to his character with the marriage angle. The McMahon-Helmsley Era ruled 2000...

- Oh, that other thing about Stephanie McMahon... Her real hand in marriage. Vince could have blocked it, but he allowed it. He trusted in HHH as a person and let the romance blossom. Married in 2003 and they have since produced 3 daughters.

- Increasing role backstage whether it was from attending production meetings, becoming Vince McMahon's top adviser and managerial back-up, to now his role as EVP of Creative, Live Events, and Developmental. Oh, he's a Board member too. Those jobs pay well.

- Gave him NXT and a nice Florida training center to play with even when both run at an operating loss. HHH has full creative control over NXT.

So you tell me... Given what Vince McMahon has provided for Triple H as a person, when will Triple H regularly criticize his Father-in-Law? Look at what he was in 1995 compared to what he is now in 2015. That is an amazing 20 year arc for any human being and to ever strongly challenge Vince would be biting the hand that has fed him.

Where Triple H can truly influence Vince McMahon in addition to continually growing the NXT brand, he needs to give the WWE the next Main Event superstar. Deliver the next "John Cena" to Vince McMahon and if he's a clear Triple H signing, then HHH will have a greater say backstage. Success breeds everything... If you were to ask me today, the closest potential Main Event star-in-the-making that NXT has is Apollo Crews. Absurd look, great personality, and he's an athletic beast in that ring. He needs some work on the psychology aspect, as he just tends to pull off move after move... But I think he has that "it" factor that makes Main Eventers great and he has easily proven that he has the athletic skill to pull off great matches. If Triple H can keep building him carefully in NXT and deliver him to Vince on a silver platter for the WWE, HHH may have his ticket to ride...

Until then, Stephanie and Triple H don't want to upset Vince McMahon who at age 70, could leave us at some point. I can only imagine that Stephanie and HHH's personal love for the guy will never allow them to team up and overthrow him. As long as other competition isn't rising up and WWE Corporate is still making money, let Vince have his way... It would be hard for both Stephanie and HHH to explain to Vince's granddaughters that they may have expedited his untimely passing because of a business dispute. Both are probably mailing in their performances as this point and Triple H is attempting to prove himself through NXT. And I don't blame them...


NXT was a lot of fun this week, particularly the Eva Marie vs. Bayley match. That match had a ton of heat heading into it as fans were worried that WWE Corporate would pull the trigger on NXT to crown Eva Marie as NXT Champion. This is a bit of an insult as the NXT Women's Title has a high amount of workrate attached to it and Eva Marie, though she has shown improvements, is still needs experience as an in-ring wrestler. Just watch her match against Bayley... Bayley is doing her best to sell and bump for everything that Eva Marie tries. But it's not just about execution of moves... It's about psychology and chain wrestling from one move to another. Why are you doing these specific wrestling moves in this specific order? Too robotic out there...

But, what Eva Marie has, and I believe this is what Vince McMahon looks for in anyone he recruits, are various intangibles. For one, she's smokin' hot. With Playboy unfortunately ditching their nude spreads, this made me wonder which WWE Diva could actually draw sales for an issue of Playboy. I guess maybe Nikki Bella... Maybe if it's a Bella Twin special, but I don't think they have the capability to draw like the Barbi Twins. If you don't know who the Barbi Twins are, GOOD GOD, Google them now... They were the rage during the 1990's for Playboy along with Pamela Anderson and Anna Nicole Smith. However, Eva Marie by herself could make it in Playboy. She's leaving little for the imagination with her wrestling tights selections... Just listen to this classic Bob & Tom if you know what I mean.

Man... Between Barbi Twins and Bob & Tom... I'm really showing my age this week? You can tell that I grew up in the 1990's...

However, what Eva Marie also has besides her smokin' hot looks is her PERSONALITY. She is easy to dislike with her "I'm better than you" natural personality. It comes off so naturally and as you can see from Total Divas, she is legitimately a diva. Now, WWE will have to contain the personal side of that because she'll get eaten alive backstage. See what's happening lately with Lana who leaked her engagement news to TMZ? When you do actions that upper WWE management has to deal with, they'll screw you back through WWE Creative. However, there were ladies backstage who weren't the easiest to deal with... Many had issues with Sable, for example, but business was able to go on for the most part during 1998... Things boiled over during 1999 when extreme pranks, like crapping in her gym bag, were done... But you know what? She came back a few years later.

She has the ability to generate heat based on looks and personality... That's 2 parts of the "it" factor that you cannot train in pro wrestling.

Now - can she become a good wrestler? To answer that, was Sable a good wrestler? No, she just came out to the ring, talked smack on the microphone, and only wrestled when she had to. Eventually, the heat boils over in the storylines so much that Eva would have to wrestle. In my opinion, the WWE might be wasting their time with trying to get Eva over in NXT... NXT is more of a pure wrestling product than WWE, which is as advertised, "sports entertainment". She already has traits that proves she can be an entertainer. WWE could easily book her as an antagonist to the Divas Division or someone like a Sensational Sherri heel manager who helps other wrestlers get over. Then, when her antics causes issues with other wrestlers, then she'd be forced to wrestle... Right now, NXT is booking her properly with Nia Jax. Her association with Nia Jax is now forcing Bayley to do battle with a stronger, tougher opponent than she's used to. Nia Jax, so far, has been bulldozing her opponents with force and gives Bayley a real threat. Eva Marie stoked those Corporate WWE flames and helped unite Bayley and Nia Jax for a big match-up at NXT Takeover London.

And that's another thing... Eva Marie has the appearance of being the WWE Corporate's choice. Right now, why are Roman Reigns and Sheamus so disliked by WWE fans, even to the point where RAW is under 3 million viewers now? Because Vince McMahon loves Roman Reigns and Triple H loves Sheamus... However, the fans have their own personal choices as to who should be WWE champion. WWE forces both Reigns and Sheamus (along with Alberto Del Rio) down our throats and will sabotage any wrestler whom the fans like instead. See Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose. Right now, WWE fans love the Four Horsewomen in Bayley, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks but they feel threatened by the Corporate WWE's choices of the Bella Twins and eventually, Eva Marie. There is an obvious influence that Total Divas places on the WWE roster for women but NXT is bringing a different dimension.

WWE has something legitimate here and it connects directly to fans... Rather than overpushing the guys they like (Sheamus, Orton, Reigns, Del Rio, Miz, Lana, Eva Marie, Bellas, Sheamus), why not just stoke the flames and then let the fan choices overcome that corporate bias? Oh wait, WWE already successfully did that during 1998-1999... That's what the "Corporation" storyline was with Vince McMahon trying to control the WWE Title against a Steve Austin. To a lesser degree, the Authority has tried that same storyline but in my opinion, poorly. Randy Orton won out against Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins was too busy feuding internally with Kane to even be pushed as the "Corporate Champion". During late 1998 and 1999, the Rock was the "Corporate Champion" and the Corporation did everything to protect him... But he failed repeatedly. Rock showed vulnerability and Mick Foley/Steve Austin had their way with him when the finally were alone with the Rock. And piles of money arrived over those feuds...

Just watch that Bayley vs. Eva Marie match from NXT... Amazing. WWE was perfectly stoking those flames. They had referee Charles Robinson sent from WWE Corporate to ensure fairness in the match's calling. Robinson was completely blind to the Nia Jax interference and the environment legitimately felt like Eva Marie was going to steal the NXT Title. However, Bayley overcame it and she's built stronger as a babyface because of it. See how that works? And again, Eva Marie acts as an accessory to get Bayley to feud with Nia Jax. Nia repeatedly tried to help Eva Marie win that match and this builds the heat for their NXT Takeover London match-up. Amazing television...

WWE just can't force it... WWE Fans have a say in this as well. You NEED wrestling fans to tune into RAW, buy WWE Network subscriptions, and still attend live events. You know, actual revenue producing functions... If we're not buying into Randy Orton as WWE Champion, STOP IT... Let the guy we're cheering, Daniel Bryan, be champion. Daniel Bryan should have regained his WWE Championship before Survivor Series 2013 where he would finally get revenge on Triple H. Instead, Randy Orton remained WWE Champion until WWE fans eventually forced WWE's hand to change the Wrestlemania 30 main event to add Bryan. Complete mess because WWE ignored its fans. Don't even get me started on 2011 again with CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio, and Triple H. Been down that road too many times and I WAS RIGHT on that call.

WWE has something... But it goes into my first argument... Can Triple H properly spoonfeed it to his father-in-law and provider of wealth, Vince McMahon?


ASK TITO - What would make a good gift to a wrestling fan for the Holidays?

Want my opinion? The WWE Network. At Walmart and other retailers, I've seen a 3 month subscription gift certificate sold.

I know, I know... Here come the "flip flop" chants from many trolls within the Comments section. But if you'll READ THIS COLUMN from my Money in the Bank 2015 review, you'll know why I acquired the WWE Network. It was FREE and I wanted to watch the NBA Finals that night. So I gave it a try and I gave the WWE a try... I binge watched many of the documentaries that I wanted to see during my FREE trial and enjoyed it...

But what I didn't count on happening were the following two things:

(a) I enjoyed NXT, particularly women's wrestling. I did not count on that... Total surprise to me that I didn't expect to happen, given my prior dislike for women's wrestling.

(b) Special WWE events. Shortly after I acquired WWE Network, WWE had the Japan event which was fun and enjoyable to watch.

(c) WWE Pay Per Views being GOOD during 2015. Seth Rollins and John Cena performed at a high level and Brock Lesnar always made things interesting. Great Pay Per View year for WWE and it's becoming more convenient for me to watch at home when I have to also write Pay Per View reviews.

(d) That I had enough of Cable. Here we go again on the "cutting the cord" crap, but I was tired of the price gouging performed by my monopolistic Cable provider. Given that I was watching less and less Cable TV shows anyway, thank you Netflix and Hulu, it made financial sense to cut the chord. I'm saving hundreds a month and WWE Network is helping to fill that void for "something to watch". I've pretty much watched all of the WWE Network specials, documentaries, and I've become a regular viewer of NXT.

I call that evolution instead of "flip flopping". My argument on the WWE Network was that 2013-2014 was such a poor effort by the WWE that it didn't merit my money going to WWE. Many on the internet were complaining about Bryan's treatment yet they were handing their money over to the WWE Network like robots. THAT'S THE PROBLEM... Go read my columns... You have to speak with your wallet... Part of my "cord cutting" is to watch 1.5 hours of RAW instead of 3 hours of RAW. Watching RAW on Hulu hurts the WWE because their sagging viewership on USA Networks causes fewer advertising dollars to come in. I could not stand to watch 3 hours of RAW... Better yet, the $9.99 WWE Network fee is actually cheaper than what I've paid to buy 3-4 Pay Per Views per year. Saving money all around... But points A-D mentioned above have completely surprised me and made me enjoy the WWE Network.

WWE Network is packed with great documentaries (which Kevin Dunn produces, which is where his real value exists), great live Pay Per View events, and NXT... Lots of older content for anyone who hasn't seen pro wrestling during the 1980's, 1990's, or 2000's... Bargain for $9.99, but for 3 months on that gift certificate, they could inhale a quick history of pro wrestling.

Other than that... I don't know... Not much else from a Christmas gift recommendation that I could give other than an old Nintendo 64 system and copies of WCW Revenge or Wrestlemania 2000.


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