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Welcome back to the “EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING” by Mr. Tito that is presented to you exclusively WrestlingHeadlines.com, a LordsofPain.net company. Halfway through the year 2020 and I’m just hoping that this latter half of 2020 goes by fast. Sorry, but anyone who wants to relive the harsh election cycle of 2016 for 2020 with doubling if not tripling the intensity, go post on someone else’s wall. Through 2020, I find myself being less beholden to a political party and more about voting for the bigger adult in the room. That and I don’t have the time to complain about a politician all day long, as I live my life accordingly no matter who is in office.
If you want to skip ahead to the Ask Mr. Tito questions, press Ctrl + F and copy & paste “ASK MR. TITO – Your Questions, My Answers”…
To start, I just want to remark on how amused that I am about how suicidal that Sports and Wrestling Media writers are about their own professions. This COVID-19 and the recent Protests have caused them to speak about against the leagues or promotions that they cover. With the Virus, it’s always a health risk… Oh no, the players are in close proximity to each other and they’ll all get sick! Or with the protests, the players are worried about friends or family who are protesting or needing to spend time with their local communities.
It’s one thing if it is the players or wrestlers who make that decision. AFTER ALL, by not playing in a sport or wrestling in a ring, it’s their money at risk. If they don’t want to do their job and perform, that’s on them and reduced pay will happen. In a way, I respect that because it’s personal choice.
But when you have Sports or Wrestling writers advocating for the cancellation of seasons or ceasing wrestling options… Come on, especially in light of the facts that are out there.
For example, NFL sports writers Peter King and Mike Florio (coincidentally both working for NBC Sports) have been advocating repeatedly for the league to NOT play football during 2020. Anytime there are any positive tests among NFL players, it’s pure panic by those writers. If you’re an NFL player and you happen to attend a party somewhere, Karen King or Karen Florio will write something up the next morning to rip you for irrational behavior. Sports business writer Darren Rovell is constantly ratting out players and others for participating in events of large gatherings. Just endless fear mongering over this virus (also now with Protests) that is wrapped in the 2020 political scene and they seem to not want to have seasons occur. What will they write about them? Each have lost plenty of followers in doing so.
For wrestling, Observer writers Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez are constantly bashing the WWE for carrying on through the Coronavirus. Yeah, I agree, the WWE was very relaxed on their testing… Vince McMahon deserves that criticism. BUT, statistically speaking, wrestlers (most of whom are 45 or younger) are not at risk for showing heavy symptoms or even close to dying if they become infected. In fact, athletes have an insanely low chance of showing heavy symptoms or dying BECAUSE THEY ARE IN SUPERIOR PHYSICAL SHAPE. Covid-19 attacks the lungs of the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions or weakened immune systems. Most of the WWE roster isn’t at risk and the guy who was at risk, Roman Reigns, was sent home for protection.
Just week after week, it’s Bryan and Dave hammering Vince McMahon’s decision of “the show must go on”. Yet, AEW has consistently held shows and have always had mini-crowds for their shows. Remember, WWE was without crowds for a while… It’s as if WWE can never do anything wrong and that is “par for the course” with the Observer boys. I’ve read their stuff for decades now and it has been consistently anti-WWE. Creative decisions, talent moves, morale, and whatnot has been mostly revealed against the WWE while promotions of Dave’s liking receive positive treatment. Dave piled on during the early 1990s with the sexual harassment scandals and the steroid trial while later hopping on the WWE during the early 2000s for the deaths and Chris Benoit. Now, it’s COVID-19.
If you don’t believe that there is an anti-WWE bias in the Observer, just consider that there were NO 5-Star matches granted to the WWE from the Badd Blood 1997 Pay Per View through the Money in the Bank 2011 Pay Per View. In other words, great matches involving Steve Austin, the Undertaker, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Triple H, Edge, Chris Jericho, and many others that happened from 1998 through 2010 did not receive 5 Stars from Dave Meltzer. NOT even the matches that his own readers gave “Match of the Year” earned 5 Stars. What, was that Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels match from Wrestlemania 25 not good enough for ya? Go show me which New Japan match was better athletically than Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels from Wrestlemania 21. Many other publications granted 5 star matches throughout the 2000s, particularly the first half where WWE’s workrate for big events was insane.
What does Karen Florio, Karen King, Karen Rovell, Karen Meltzer, and Karen Alvarez gain from cheerleading that the leagues or promotions that they cover should shut down for 2020? For one, they’ll have nothing to cover. No games or no events = no results to cover and reduced news to report. If there are no games or events, that means fewer fans will be able to tune in or attend events. Thus, the demand for your writing services declines. If the WWE cannot put on television shows, they will lose their Comcast/FOX deals which are the only things keeping the WWE alive right now. No revenue for NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL if they cannot have seasons along with not having fans in the stands. NBC Sports will see fewer views on their websites and potentially cut salaries or jobs… Subscribers to the Observer will go down with fewer people watching wrestling. Just idiotic. Each of these Karens should write about SOLUTIONS on how to safely hold games or events.
Instead, they push fear… I’m not sure if it’s tied to things political, but something is a driving force behind them. Right now, we have a rise in Positive Tests for COVID-19. Yes, that should be alarming but you have to take things into context. There is MORE TESTING happening now than ever. It took a while for accurate tests to be produced and shipped out to all states. It’s obvious when you have more testing done, more positives will happen. Yet, what’s the DEATH RATE been like? Oh, it’s still in a declining trend since the peak during early May.
And when you get into the details of the deaths, the majority of them have been from Nursing Homes. Otherwise, the rest of the deaths have been mostly associated with higher age with some pre-existing conditions or poor physical shape related. In the United States, we’ve had 130,000 deaths from 2.74 Million positive cases. Yes, that is a death rate of 4.7% but again, it is about who is passing away. According to CDC.gov’s own data, around 20,000-25,000 of those deaths have been from persons 64 or younger. If I go to Under 54 years, we’re seriously close to 10,000 deaths.
Numbers don’t lie… Athletes in sports leagues and wrestlers in the WWE or AEW are extremely unlikely to show any symptoms if infected and have close to a 0% chance of dying. If we bring back fans… As long as they are 54 and younger, their chances of showing symptoms and dying are also extremely low… Obviously, as long as they are in decent physical shape and have no pre-existing conditions. Our body’s natural immune system makes us safer than you think.
NOW – We should certainly keep on protecting the elderly and those who are at risk with pre-existing conditions or weakened immune systems. 100% agree with that. Just for the moment, take extra care visiting your parents or grandparents and/or consider just contacting them by phone or Facetime/Zoom. Maintain social distancing of 6 feet anywhere you go. Simple… Wear masks in essential settings where someone at risk may go such as the Grocery Store, Post Office, Gas Stations, etc. Wash your damn hands (shocked that many didn’t before all of this). Cough and sneeze into your elbows.
You can have it both ways… We can continue working and living as we did before BUT be better with our hygiene, maintain social distancing, and protect those who are at most risk (elderly, pre-existing conditions, weak immune systems).
I’m saying this not as a doctor or scientist… I’m just reading data, facts, and opinions of doctors/scientists out there who aren’t bent politically.
However, what I am knowledgeable is on the economy. If we don’t restart this economic engine, things will get very bad. In my opinion, the looting and the property damage from the recent protests were associated with the economic struggles of 2020. Sorry, but I have a hard problem giving $1,200 refund checks to people who are out of work and forcing them to spend HOURS or DAYS or WEEKS trying to contact local Unemployment offices for assistance. Meanwhile, much of that $3 Trillion stimulus went right to businesses who were supposed to maintain their workers. The same businesses who can also take out super low interest rate loans to also survive, too.
On Thursday, the Unemployment rate was reported at 11.1% for June 2020 and that was an improvement from the 13.3% reported for May 2020. While the rate may have improved, 11.1% still sucks and is well beyond the 6% or less “accepted” range of unemployment associated with a growing economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that almost 18 million are presently unemployed within the Labor Force (those 18 or older who have a job or are looking) but the Labor Force itself has lost almost 5 million in participants. That’s a real problem and if people don’t have incomes to feed their families, pay for their car/home loans, and pay their bills… That is when desperation and frustration kicks in to cause more crime, more domestic violence, and forced declines for other businesses as multiplier effects (fewer loans being paid back hurts banks, unpaid utility bills hurts local governments, etc).
Sorry, but we need to get back to work. I’m not here to get political, as I’ve NEVER casted a single vote for Donald Trump and I’m normally a more Conservative leaning voter. But years of badmouthing people on camera or on Twitter and then a job performance of Trillion Dollar deficits, tariffs, and being divisive won’t do it for me. And on Biden, I worry about his mental health. He’s 77 years old and shouldn’t be applying for such a stressful job at his age. The way he has mental blocks when speaking worries me.
Thus, what I’m saying is to not specifically protect either candidate or party. I’m just using my economical sense here and also studying CDC’s own data on Death Rates. The FACT is that while Positive Tests are going up, the Deaths from COVID-19 are still trending downward. Furthermore, the age groups are quite telling. If you’re under 54 years of age, you’re not in danger. FACT. We just have to protect those who are older… Keep them away from large gatherings of people and anyone younger should wear masks/gloves at places of essential need.
AND superior athletes who are contracted with the NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB or wrestlers who are contracted in the WWE/AEW should continue to perform at a high level without worry. Even if you test positive for COVID-19, you will unlikely to show any symptoms and you’ll be extremely unlikely (close to 0%) to pass away. The numbers don’t lie.
When the Coronavirus was first ramping up and many were calling for Vince McMahon to cancel Wrestlemania 36, I was one of the FEW wrestling writers who actually backed Vince that the “show must go on”. On my March 7th, 2020 Ask Tito, I said the following about fans potentially attending the live Wrestlemania 36 show in Tampa, FL:
No. Live your life, folks. The Coronavirus looks like it spreads faster than other types of viruses of recent past but is it any different, in terms of the mortality rate than other recent viruses? Is it any different than having a harder version of the flu? Right now, it seems to be very fatal to the elderly, as Italy is reporting that the average age of death is 81 years old for anyone deemed to have the virus. The logic might seem insane, but the odds of a younger wrestling fan catching the virus and then passing away from it are very low.
Turns out, based on the CDC’s own statistics through late June 2020, that I was right.
Now, where I was wrong and admitted some ignorance was if a younger individual in a large gathering later would visit their Parents or Grandparents.
Ultimately, that’s where our care needs to be… If you participate in large gatherings or attend school, stay away from Nursing Homes and consider safety around your older relatives. Wears masks/gloves in essential settings like Grocery Stores, Post Offices (for you, Jim Cornette!), Gas Stations, etc. because elderly use have to still travel to those places. Cough and sneeze into your elbows and continue to wash your hands thoroughly.
Then, just wait it out until after November, and a vaccine or a miracle drug will just happen to arrive on time.
Onto your wrestling questions!
ASK MR. TITO – Your Questions, My Answers
Where will CM Punk go now that his Fox Sports 1 WWE Backstage Show has been cancelled?
It really depends on what other options within FS1 that he has… I believe that he could have mileage as a pro wrestling analyst that can appear on their various radio or television shows. He could also be a MMA analyst as well. What I like about FOX Sports is that there is less of a filter on their commentators compared to other sports channels such as NBC which is too political, ESPN is too politically correct, and CBS is too corporate. FOX grants a ton of freedom to speak on their channels and even some talk radio mock what’s on FOX News from time to time.
Now, if you were asking me what he SHOULD DO… He needs to join All Elite Wrestling and get on that mic to shoot on the WWE. Sorry AEW, but you won’t defeat the WWE if you play nice. Ask Eric Bischoff about that one. Eric openly mocked WWE’s weaknesses and helped convince many of their fans to leave the WWE for WCW viewership. He laughed at their business practices, read their spoilers on television, and took shots at them repeatedly on commentary.
He’s 41 years old with a few prime athletic years left in that body… Even though it has been more than 6 years since he performed, the fans still don’t forget the magic he brought during 2011 and the amazing matches he had during 2013 (Undertaker at WM 29 and Lesnar at SummerSlam). We all know that the WWE screwed him and we’re begging him to screw them by helping AEW to beat the WWE.
Think about it this way… WWE is declining and is now seeing 1.7 million viewers per RAW show. AEW is just 1 million viewers away from beating the WWE. That gap can be narrowed quickly with a top drawing star with amazing mic skills. WWE has NOTHING in their developmental system coming up that can shake things up. AEW could have the WWE by the balls if debuted CM Punk and gave him total creative freedom.
Make it happen AEW… And CM Punk, pro wrestling needs you!
Should AEW worry about losing to NXT on Wednesday Nights?
But what about those HOT 18-49 demographics?
I would start worrying now. It seems to me that NXT has a group of wrestlers who may never join the WWE main roster and might just be full-time NXT performers for a long, long time. I figure that they’ll lose Keith Lee or Rhea Ripley with time, but the NXT system seems to mold smaller wrestlers and females well the be replacements always for lost wrestlers. Wrestlers at 6 feet tall or under are a dime-a-dozen on the Indy scene and Triple H can just scoop up more of them as needed.
The issue that remains with AEW is star power. Period. Nobody on that show is a MUST SEE television performer. Sorry, but Kenny Omega, besides 1 tag team match, has been underwhelming in AEW rings. Ditto with the Young Bucks (besides that same 1 tag team match). I like Cody but he’s selling too much for midcard talent and holds a midcard title. I’ve always loved Chris Jericho but years of seeing him as a midcarder in the WWE has conditioned me (and many other fans) to be just OK with him as a top guy. MJF is great but we need a top babyface. Jon Moxley is sort of that but not all the way.
AEW’s midcard and women’s division is its ultimate weakness and probably should be as a brand new promotion. Yet, AEW has Jim Ross RIGHT THERE on the freakin’ roster to help them scout and develop talents and yet none of the EVPs want his advice.
If NXT can build up a streak of more than 2 weeks, I’d panic… And I’d also not worry about that HOT 18-49 demographic because as I pointed out in a previous column, AEW barely has any of that 18-25 age group. They are just slightly younger than the WWE’s above 50 age group, on average. You can conveniently read all about that HOT 18-49 demographic in my May 16th Column.
What are your thoughts on Low Ki’s COVID-19 comments on wearing masks?
It’s Low Ki’s opinion. I’m not going to openly agree or disagree with it.
My issue is with all of the wrestlers who broke character to get all emotional to attack him for his comments. Again, it’s as I have been repeatedly saying about Pro Wrestlers and Social Media… Shut the hell up. We need to believe that you are “Larger than Life” and are these great characters that you portray on television in real life. Instead, you’re getting all emotional about what another wrestler said.
What other wrestlers should do is just let the wrestling fans deal the heat to Low Ki. Believe me, he was getting attacked on all fronts by wrestling fans.
Wrestling needs a mystique about it and wrestlers should want to join in on protecting that. As I stated last week, the Undertaker actually leans right on his politics and actually donates to Republican candidates. But did you ever know that? No, as he kept his personal life and political leaning very quiet from the public. You never heard him go on Social Media and preach to you about politics. NO! As far as you knew, he was a character named the Undertaker.
Wrestlers need to stop getting emotional and personal on Social Media. Let their fans drive the bus on that one. Wrestlers should stop acting like their fans and appear above them as “larger than life” characters.
Does Impact Wrestling have a chance if they sign recently released free agents?
Impact could sign each and every wrestler that the WWE just released and it wouldn’t matter. They had their chance long ago and they blew it. Now, they are streaming on Twitch and AXS TV with very low viewership each week. AXS is available in about 50 million homes, which is less than most common cable channels.
That and Impact is on the heels of crowning a 120 pound female as their Men’s Heavyweight Champion AND letting her walk out of the company without defending that title. They need drastic measures to restore credibility as a promotion after that.
Infrastructure is weak and creative remains an issue with this promotion. On top of that, they have a credibility issue after crowning Tessa Blanchard as their Heavyweight Champion.
Speaking of her…
Could Tessa Blanchard succeed in the WWE?
For one, they would be signing the current Impact Heavyweight Champion to their roster… That’s a bonus. Of course Tessa could succeed. She’s one of the most talented in-ring performers out there and has that generational pedigree to boot. On top of that, she’s beautiful… It’s all about how she carries herself with a swagger and a confidence that makes her, for lack of a better term, “hot”.
I could headline many, many shows with Tessa Blanchard vs. Charlotte Flair. The bloodlines of the Four Horsemen prime members. Wow…
My only worries is that the past stories of her being a bully would limit her in the Politically Correct WWE environment or that the existing females would use that to their advantage to bad mouth her internally.
She should go to AEW, in my opinion. They need her badly there, as that women’s division is helpless. Import the existing Impact Champion and you’re set!
Should Taz be punished for taking a shot at WWE on AEW Dynamite?
Tazz (or Taz) is taking heat for calling the WWE a “sloppy shop” in light of the WWE’s COVID-19 testing troubles.
And what did I just say about Eric Bischoff in my above question?
So what? AEW needs to start taking MORE shots at the WWE, not fewer. Right now on their roster, they have multiple wrestlers who have attended Chris Jericho’s podcast and expressed frustrations about their WWE tenure: Brodie Lee, Jon Moxley, and FTR. When they arrive on AEW, they say nothing about their WWE frustrations.
Tony Khan needs to grow a set and start attacking WWE regularly. Vince and his corporate structure will not hit back. Khan should use the weakening of the WWE product and how corporate it has become to his advantage. As long as Tazz is OK with never appearing on WWE television again, he should have Tazz say MORE things about the WWE and not less.
Simple as that…
And now, my final rant…
THE LAST WORD
If you go back into the past, you’ll see that the WWE, in particular, took real world events and tried to portray them within a wrestling character.
For example, brought in and pushed the Iron Sheik at the height of foreign issues with the country of Iran during the late 1970s. We had various Russian wrestlers during the Cold War. Iraqi sympathizers appeared during the early 1990s that even saw Sgt. Slaughter turn his back against America. The Nation of Domination was created to represent militant black movements conducted by former football player and activist Jim Brown.
And yet, the WWE today would be completely scared to use real life events and incorporate them into their characters now. Remember, the New Day had a whole different angle to them at first until the WWE scrapped that to make them a more fun acting group.
2020 has many topics that could be incorporated into wrestling characters right now for some potential heat. For example, if the WWE just had Jack Swagger‘s “We the People” character right now… Man, that would cause switchboards to light up! Or what if all of the black wrestlers combined as a group and demanded change in the WWE? 2 weeks ago, I suggested that the WWE actually has an abundance of legitimate Heavyweight black wrestlers that they should consider pushing (June 20th column). It’s nice of a few wrestlers to show salutes on television, but why can’t all of them combine together and almost “invade” the WWE collectively as a group?
And come on… You can’t tell me that someone couldn’t use the Coronavirus to get heat. Simply put, have just 1 heel wrestler wear a mask and refuse to wrestle in the ring unless his opponent wore a mask.
2020 is an election year and we’re politically divided… Create characters that can pull in heat from both the right and the left.
Hell, just 40 years later, we’re still at conflict with Iran… Have the “Iron Shiek 2” debut. Why not?
I know, Corporate WWE won’t let it happen and neither will their sponsors or political donors. And that is what’s wrong with wrestling. Back in the day, wrestling was fearless on what it put on the screen. Roddy Piper painting himself up with black paint on only half of his body. Sure, why not? Steve Austin beating up Lita with a chair? Go for it! Bubba Dudley plowing poor Mae Young through a table? Why not? Hot Lesbian Action preached by Eric Bischoff each and every week? Have a gay wedding? Did I hear myself say 3 minutes?
And nobody took it seriously… Because we knew it was a show and it was usually the heels who were always on the wrong sides of history. The heels got theirs in the end, except Triple H at Wrestlemania 19 against Booker T (oops, WWE!).
So… We live in a PG Era where you can’t use certain language and you must tone down the sexual stuff significantly. Violence has been censors, no blood or headshots. On top of that, the political and corporate climate in the WWE won’t let them draw on heat from real life events.
Yeah, it’s hard to be on the Creative Team in the WWE…
And of course, AEW is following suit with their squeaky clean storylines too… If they could just hire a legitimate Male black wrestler and have him state the obvious about the rest of the AEW roster… It just writes itself, as the wrestler could infer what the “W” is in AEW. Simple as that to tie into recent headlines.
For the Coronavirus front with AEW, let Tazz “shoot” about WWE’s “sloppy shop”. After all, AEW has been testing correctly this entire time and we’re not seeing outbreaks among its roster. Why not brag about it? This is terrible PR for the WWE and AEW has everything to gain from it.
Take the gloves off, guys… Use real life events to incorporate into your storylines. Wrestling needs HEAT from its fans to help ticket sales and increase eyeballs for television. Boring fans with stale storylines does neither.
Just look at how much heat Low Ki just received for 1 message about wearing masks… People are all over the guy. Opportunity knocks…
If the WWE is content with being under 2 million viewers and AEW is fine with being under 800,000, then they can continue to not take chances on storylines.
What’s the matter Colonel Sanders, chicken?
So just chill… Until the next episode!
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Bookmark Mr. Tito’s Column Archive to read the current and past columns.
Play my Super Mario Maker 2 courses on the Nintendo Switch:
Super Mario Riot: F3F-4BC-RPF
WWE Money in the Bank 2020: QD1-9QF-X1H
Sunset Riders: DC5-X75-NXF
Super Mario Bros. 2 Multiplayer Mayhem: XHP-W6B-JGG
Attack of the Murder Hornets: GGN-9QT-LFG
Die Hard (themed after the Bruce Willis Film): 2YH-48W-HMG
Die Hard 2 – Die Harder: QQ1-MHW-YTF
Die Hard with a Vengeance: 5MB-2YG-VRG
Die Hard 4 – Live Free or Die Hard: MP2-3SL-RPF
Under Siege: BYG-8YQ-XNF
Under Siege 2 – Dark Territory: CKB-RLR-WYG
Can You Dig It, Sucka?: 884-G0H-FFF
Michael Jordan Overcoming the Detroit Pistons: RTK-LJ6-JDG
Hoarding the Toilet Paper: 43G-S79-TVG
Star Trek 2 – The Wrath of Khan: 1LV-L7L-KDF
Inside Her: FC1-TW9-7YG
Star Wars vs. Star Trek: N3X-R6M-Y9G
Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time Wrong Warp: 2RX-QCV-N9G
Super Link Bros: HBD-H5C-QRF
Santa Bowser Came Early: GL8-F48-3XG
Super Wrestling Bros: 0H6-9HT-S5G
WWE Royal Rumble: SDH-JC2-HFG
WWE Elimination Chamber: P3B-5DJ-91G
WCW World War 3: BT4-W1Y-HRG
Extreme Championship Wrestling: 42J-4GT-W3G
BEST OF TITO’s POLITICAL CARTOONS
– Alfred E. Vince McMahon on Wrestlemania 36
– WWE’s “Developmental System”
– How Triple H views CM Punk’s physique
– How Pro Wrestling Controversies keep pulling me out of the Retirement Home
– Seth Rollins cannot resist the Internet!
– Truth About WWE’s “Executive Directors”
– More Truth About WWE’s “Executive Directors”
– Jim Cornette as Godzilla against Indy Mudshow Wrestlers
© Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com – 1998-2020