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The EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING has returned exclusively here at WrestlingHeadlines.com, a LordsofPain.net company. I hope that everyone reading this is doing well… Hopefully, better than the Pro Wrestling industry these days… Record low viewership numbers across the board and you can’t just blame LACK OF CROWDS when you can’t even capitalize on LACK OF OTHER SPORTS taking away viewership. Plus, everyone is quarantined and stuck at home right now. No excuses. Put on a quality show or else viewers won’t watch you!
If you want to go right to the questions, just Ctrl + F to search for “ASK MR. TITO: Your Questions, My Answers”.
Folks, I just don’t know about this Coronavirus. The numbers of people getting infected keeps skyrocketing. Most of the newer numbers are younger people but still, this thing is spreading like fire. Death Rate has been trending downward thought it popped a bit yesterday on daily deaths. Numbers are showing that this virus is not safe to those aged 65 or older and anyone else with a pre-existing condition with their lungs.
And that is who we have to protect… Don’t protest wearing a mask to the supermarket. Older people and those at risk have to still shop for groceries, go to the post office, get gas, etc. Just put on a mask. If anything, you’ll see their face light up when you see them in public.
Where I continue to worry is about the economy. We’re beyond 90 days now when the Coronavirus first started and usually after 90 days, most banks begin to take action with collection on Car, Home, and Business Loans. Now, many banks are putting a pause to their collections department and that is cool… But then that’s financial losses that banks will begin to endure on lost interest income. That’s the other “boot to drop” on this economy that I fear is coming along with industries like clubs, concerts, theaters, sporting events, and even pro wrestling never coming back to full capacity ever again.
It was a FACT that both WWE and AEW’s attendance were declining through late 2019 and early 2020. The QUALITY of both products were driving people away from spending their hard earned money IN A GOOD ECONOMY from attending wrestling shows. What will happen now with the fear of getting sick and operating in a recessed economy?
My buddy Ravi on Twitter made an incredibly simple yet smart statement on what AEW and WWE need to do: They need to make wrestling cool again.
Like when Scott Hall and Kevin Nash just started randomly appearing on WCW Nitro during 1996… Was there any doubt that those alpha males weren’t cool? Steve Austin was able to tell off his boss Vince McMahon and drink beer on television. Any doubt there? Just watch the Rock from 1997 through 2000… There is a reason he became a Hollywood megastar. John Cena got over by cutting raps as promos. Wow, he quickly became a top star and SAVED Monday Night RAW from its 2000-2004 viewership nosedive.
The guys on both AEW and WWE rosters right now? Ehhhhh, not really cool. Not many alpha males on those rosters, either. WWE tried to script Roman Reigns as being hip or cool but he came off as LAME when reading Vince McMahon’s scripted lines. All of the other pushed champions like Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Miz, Jinder Mahal, etc. were not cool and didn’t inspire anyone outside to give the WWE a try. The coolest thing that WWE had in the past decade was the Shield but they foolishly broke them up just as all 3 members were about to take the babyface world by storm together after finishing Evolution.
AEW… Who is cool there? Come on me… Jericho WAS cool but feuding with Orange Cassidy and cutting promos about the 18-49 Demographic is just silly. Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks do nothing for viewers, as they each just look like your regular guys on the Indy scene. Getting a neck tattoo isn’t cool, Cody. The only guy who is somewhat cool is Jon Moxley who returned this week to Dynamite and helped pop a better number this week for AEW.
I’ll tell you who isn’t “cool” and that is FTR. What the hell, guys? They should have joined the promotion and mowed through all of the competition before ultimately making it to the Young Bucks. But no, they have to be involved in bad comedy, matches where they are overselling for the undercard tag teams, and presented to not be special. These guys are MAJOR free agent signings and yet they are just part of the crew already.
I don’t know, man… The wrestling business will NOT grow unless All Elite Wrestling (AEW) rises as a legitimate competitor. They not only have to present wrestling fans with a better product, but they need to competitively push the WWE to become better. In case you missed it thus far with 2020, the WWE doesn’t feel threatened at all by AEW if you’ve watch RAW and Smackdown this year. Yikes, what awful shows! And to think, Comcast and FOX are paying a COMBINED $400 Million annually for this crap.
If Pro Wrestling isn’t careful, this Coronavirus or COVID-19 will deliver a knock out punch to the industry.
Better start writing better television shows AND pushing the right talent or else.
Onto your questions.
ASK MR. TITO: Your Questions, My Answers
Do you believe that there is heat with FTR for appearing on Jim Cornette’s podcast?
I don’t think so and if there were, then the Young Bucks are incredibly thin skinned. FTR appearing on Cornette’s show should be a blessing in disguise for AEW as it is free publicity and would allow for Jim Cornette’s heat to pass through FTR.
I just believe that AEW’s creative process between Tony Khan and his 4 EVPs is just that incompetent.
I believe that a deal with AEW was well in the works as they were taping Cornette’s show and dropping lines about the Bucks was probably planned. If there was heat about FTR appearing on Cornette, they wouldn’t have been used in AEW at all. Instead, FTR gets to endure why it was a MISTAKE to make active wrestlers with ZERO managerial skills to become Executive Vice Presidents of a company.
Has Roman Reigns’s absence hurt WWE Smackdown’s viewership numbers?
Speaking of Cornette, he had a line from Ole Anderson to the effect of “I used to think you were a dumbf*** but so many other dumbf***s have arrived lately that actually makes you look smart”. Just look at what the WWE has lost in the last 6 years alone… CM Punk walks out, Daniel Bryan’s concussions, John Cena goes to Hollywood, Undertaker becomes more part-time, Dean Ambrose leaves WWE, Alberto Del Rio fizzles out, Sheamus goes to the tag division, etc. On top of that, guys like Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, and Seth Rollins are just awful as main eventers. By comparison, Roman looks better than the rest.
But remember, even if Roman Reigns was still on the show, he is maybe on 30 minutes maximum on that show (opening 20 minute promo, maybe 10-15 minutes of a match). You still have to fill 1.5 hours of the show and the rest of that roster isn’t cutting it. This is where your LACK of attention towards the Tag Team division and midcard titles comes back to haunt you.
So yeah, I’ll buy that Roman could help viewership but only since the rest of the WWE is just that damn bad.
If/when Roman ever comes back, please change that damn music! The Shield is over, bro!
What are your thoughts on Vickie Guerrero managing Nyla Rose?
The question is this… Did Nyla need someone to speak for her? I just don’t know… I personally like Vickie Guerrero and am glad that she’s finding work, but I thought that the WWE got the most out of that character.
I’d be curious to know how well versed Vickie Guerrero is about the wrestling business through her marriage to Eddie Guerrero and then experience working with the WWE for many years. It makes you curious if she could understand how storylines work and the payoffs at the end of story arc. Makes you wonder if she could be decent having any Creative input on shows? I don’t know…
AEW just seems to have too many veterans as managers right now. Find someone young… Heyman, Cornette, and many others managed while they were very young and that helped them be fearless in attempts to draw heat.
Nyla Rose doesn’t need a manager… She needs better booking to push her as an unstoppable bulldozer instead of selling for women half her weight.
How about that AEW Dynamite viewership win this week?
Good for them… Bigtime main event with Jon Moxley and Brian Cage that I felt was rushed too early as a match-up… It was Moxley’s return show too, which may have had a factor on the ratings result.
But did you see that HOT 18-49 demo this week for AEW? 0.29 this week, which is just barely above 0.28. Back in my day, we didn’t have that hundredth spot on the ratings. And statistically speaking, 0.01 probably doesn’t have much material difference…
AEW Dynamite is AEW’s top show… It should be handily defeating WWE’s NXT show which is third on their ladder and features WWE developmental wrestlers. But they are not running away with this Wednesday Night War and have lost over 600,000 viewers since they first began last year. We’ll get to more on AEW’s ratings later in the Last Word rant…
What are your thoughts on Pro Wrestlers announcing themselves as homosexual?
Here is my overall opinion on people: Who you choose to be, who you s***, or who you f*** is 100% up to you AS LONG AS it doesn’t directly harm other people. I don’t care who you date and I don’t care what gender that you want to play. If you’re doing that at your house on your property and around your own friends, that’s fine by me. I’ve worked with many from the gay community and am related to some as well. Doesn’t bother me. For work, I don’t care if you’re of a different color, sexuality, religious background, or whatever… The only color that I see is GREEN… If you’re productive, we’re cool.
Does that make sense?
The one that recently came “out of the closet” was Tegan Nox who works for NXT. Good for you… It’s nice to have confidence in who you are…
BUT – How does coming out in your personal life reflect on your professional life? Tegan Nox is a CHARACTER and it was Stephanie Newell who actually came out. Will the character of Tegan Nox be a lesbian too? That’s a valid question… And homosexual or not, can you cut promos, work matches, and deliver a personality that can be sold to sell tickets or convince viewers to tune in to see you on a pro wrestling show? Wrestlers need to appear “Larger than Life”… So what is so special about Tegan Nox?
What do you bring to the table to sell to wrestling fans other than an announcement about your personal life?
Wrestling fans just finished cheering for a guy called “the Undertaker” who sold being a deadman for 3 decades. THAT is special and “larger than life”.
So what do you have to bring to the table that makes you unique as a pro wrestler, Tegan? Most of us are happy that you are proud of your sexuality to come out public with it… But what can you do for pro wrestling fans who are hungry for that next great superstar to arrive?
May we have predictions for WWE Extreme Rules?
Here is a prediction: I’ll try not to watch it. The “Horror Show”. Finally, a correctly named WWE show.
Just look at the HOT GARBAGE matches booked here… Wyat Swamp Fight? Eye for an Eye? Seriously, the stipulations of that require that an eyeball be removed from an opponent. That is like NOT legal anywhere else in the world for combat sports.
I’ll give you my quick predictions:
– Drew McIntyre defeats Dolph Ziggler. Randy Orton is reportedly getting the title next… Ugh.
– Sasha Banks defeats Asuka. This is a reward for Sasha helping NXT defeat AEW on one night. Sasha is a draw, baby!
– Bayley defeats Nikki Cross. Have we run out of competitors in this division already?
– Seth Rollins will remove Rey-Rey’s eyeball.
– MVP defeats Apollo Crews for the US Title. This will drive one last nail into Paul Heyman’s Executive Director coffin.
And now, my final rant…
THE LAST WORD
The most ridiculous thing this week wasn’t Chris Jericho and his Inner Circle getting drenched with what I’m assuming was Orange Juice on this week’s AEW Dynamite… You know, we have seen the WWE perform the liquid dumps on many occasions and internet wrestling fans savaged them for each instance. When AEW does it… Well, it’s fun and exciting!
But no, dumping liquid on the Inner Circle wasn’t the worst thing this week… It was close, however. When Jericho got on the mic and boasted about being a draw to the “18-49 Demographic”. Huh?
Most wrestling fans actually DO NOT check wrestling news sites, nor do they subscribe to the Wrestling Observer news letter. Believe me, I know, as I’ve seen the numbers… There is a HUGE gap between households looking up stuff online about wrestling and watching it on television. Thus, Chris, when you boast about being a big draw to the 18-49 demographic, much of the audience has no idea what you’re talking about.
This inside baseball stuff being proudly displayed on a weekly television show is exactly what did WCW Nitro and Thunder in during 1999-2000. They wrote storylines and angles based on what the Internet thought about the WCW product. Meanwhile, what WCW and now AEW doesn’t realize that the majority of wrestling fans are adult males and depending on what age group that you have watching your shows, it could increase your viewership if marketed to them directly.
Having a thicker 18-49 year old demographic is GOOD because that means you have Dads in their 30s and 40s in your numbers… Guys who can take their children to pro wrestling events!That or guys entering the primes of their Income years who can spend money to let their teenagers see wrestling shows by themselves.
The MAJORITY of fans DO NOT check the internet for the latest on wrestling news or how NXT did against AEW Dynamite.
If they did, then internet wrestling websites would be rolling in the cash right now and YouTube wouldn’t limit ads placed on videos about wrestling. Hell, I could just write columns full time for actual money if we had all wrestling fans checking things out online.
But they don’t…
And what Jericho is doing, once again, is exposing the business and not playing to the right audience.
NOBODY cares about the 18-49 demographic except for AEW and WWE individually with their networks. If they have a higher demographic, then TNT, USA Networks, and/or FOX can charge higher ad rates and that might kickback to the promotions. Maybe? The only way that wrestling fans should ever notice that demographic is if Creative suddenly changes to cater towards that group. Other than that, hearing about that demo in a promo is silly.
It just adds to a broader point about wrestlers needing to protect the wrestling business much more. Stop going on Social Media and talking about your personal life or how the 18-49 demographic matters. Many wrestlers actually speak directly to fans on how results are scripted and how they trained to take bumps properly. Meanwhile, the WWE had gameshows for Tough Enough and NXT that fully shows how wrestlers train and take bumps. WWE Network also had a documentary about NXT called “Breaking Ground” which showed the entire ins and outs of the wrestling industry from how a show is scripted, how bumps are taken, and how wrestlers are compensated.
Wrestlers need to appear “Larger Than Life” to wrestling fans and not appear like them… We should NEVER hear any personal complaints from wrestlers, what video games that they are playing, their vacation pictures taken with their opponents on screen, and we should especially not see their real name publicly stated. Many wrestlers have their real name on their Twitter account… This causes marketplace confusion because the Character that they see on television is radically different than the person interacting with fans on Twitter. Fans don’t gravitate towards wrestlers now because they know too much about them!
The Undertaker, who just retired, had 3 decades of mostly acting in character for appearances, media interviews, and being careful where he went in public. The one time that he loosened up on things was when wife #2, Sara, appeared with the Bikertaker gimmick for a while. However, the Undertaker quickly ended that by returning to the “Deadman” version of his gimmick once again and mostly remained silent until his Last Ride documentary.
Why aren’t wrestlers today learning from the Undertaker? He just drew for 30 years…
Think of it this way… A Magician NEVER reveals his or her tricks to the audience (yes, I know Penn & Teller do it, but most don’t!!!). Why? Because if a Magician displayed how an illusion was made, (a) fewer people will attend shows because they know how the trick is done and (b) it might inspire others to steal the tricks and become magicians themselves. This latter point (b) is important because many individuals might be able to perform the trick but do they have the showmanship or the charisma to entertain an audience?
So if you think if that way about the wrestling business right now… Many wrestlers grew up watching the ECW, TNA X Division, and the latter parts of the Attitude Era and thought that “I could do that” by just learning how to do special moves. For the last 15 years, we’ve had nothing but “spot machines” and “leg slappers” going through the indies, NXT, and now joining AEW. However, what many of today’s wrestlers LACK is personality, charisma, ability to speak, and in-ring psychology. All they learned from their influences was how to do the high spots and risk their bodies.
By advertising HOW pro wrestling tricks are performed, you’re going to encourage many to join up for the wrong reasons. Meanwhile, their LACK of charisma, personality, psychology, and/or communication skills will remain. Thus, why nobody has become a major top drawing superstar in the past 10 years.
There needs to be a KAYFABE CRACKDOWN in both WWE and AEW… Social Media must be limited, wrestlers need to stay in character more, Creative needs to stop pushing stupid internet stuff on television, and the shows must be pushed as real as possible. Seriously, who put that much Orange liquid at the top of the lighting? Wouldn’t a production crew member, who is concerned about safety, have problems with many gallons of Orange liquid hanging that high on this lighting system? And shouldn’t the Inner Circle go after the AEW production crew for not only allowing that liquid to be placed so high above the ring, but creating a mechanism that causes the liquid to drop.
And stop running to Uncle Dave about every single story… You are helping him sell newsletters and I’m sure that he’s not paying you for that information. Promotions are the ones paying you and yet delivering news to insiders can hurt your own business…
Wrestling is “stuck on stupid” when it comes to protecting itself from itself. Non-stop self-inflicted wounds and openly chatting on Social Media about how scripted or even “fake” it really is. Wrestlers need to appear “Larger than Life” to the general public and not try to act like everyday people. The appeal of a top drawing superstar is that they are someone that the fans don’t know and won’t know.
So just chill… Until the next episode!
Comments and feedback are welcome. Follow and Tweet me @titowrestling or login in below to post comments.
Bookmark Mr. Tito’s Column Archive to read the current and past columns.
BEST OF TITO’s POLITICAL CARTOONS
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– More Truth About WWE’s “Executive Directors”
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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
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