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Welcome back to round of “EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING” by Mr. Tito that is presented to you exclusively WrestlingHeadlines.com, a LordsofPain.net company. What the hell, 2020? As if Military Strikes to start the year, Kobe Bryant’s Death, a deadly Coronavirus or COVID-19, political election upcoming, Murder Hornets, and riots weren’t enough… Now, the entire Wrestling Industry is getting blasted with past and present sexual related alleged incidents.
If you want to bypass the opening rant that ties to some stories in the real world, Ctrl + F and search for “ASK MR. TITO – Your Questions, My Answers”.
Here is main thing that I want to state about recent cases or accusations that have been seen in both Pro Wrestling and the real world right now… If you are going to go public with an accusation or if you, as a Corporation or Company are going to release a major statement on something, you better have your FACTS in line when doing so… Because if you DO NOT, whomever is accused of doing something will receive unfair harm in return and those accusations, even if found untrue, will stick forever.
Two examples that I’d like to provide, one is with Jim Cornette and the other is Bubba Wallace with NASCAR. Last Friday, Jim Cornette was trending and there was a Twitter user accusing Jim and his wife Stacy for imposing “pay for play” policies at Ohio Valley Wrestling. And by paying, I meant providing sexual favors. However, it turns out that the Twitter user was a Third Party who took someone else’s conversations with Stacy and spliced them together to make it appear as though something inappropriate happened. At worst, the Cornettes have an interesting marriage but nothing inappropriate happened with Cornette when he managed the Ohio Valley Wrestling promotion during the 2000s (well, besides slapping Santino repeatedly). However, because of this anonymous user on Twitter making accusations, that could have caused serious financial harm to Jim’s brand, Podcast, and sponsors that support his shows.
Then, we have Bubba Wallace and NASCAR. I applaud Bubba for calling on NASCAR to ban the Confederate Flags (though he could have done that years ago). On Sunday evening, a member of the Richard Petty race crew observed a string hanging from the garage door that was fashioned like a noose. This crew member immediately escalated to NASCAR and NASCAR then escalated to the FBI as a hate crime. From late Sunday night through mid-Tuesday, the Sports Media, NASCAR, and Bubba Wallace thought the worst happened in that someone planted that noose specifically in Bubba’s garage. It was thought that “simple minded” NASCAR fans or fellow drivers/crew members were seeking revenge on Bubba. As it turns out, most garage doors at Taladega have similar ties on their garage doors and pictures from 2017 and 2019 show that those strings were there well before Bubba entered the garage.
The United States has a legal policy of “innocent before proven guilty”… We HAVE to be be patient on accusations until the facts are fully delivered. Because again, those accusations can cause damage even if untrue especially in this Social Media world where rumors & gossip can spread quickly. People were piling on Jim Cornette and NASCAR fans took additional punches to the gut after their initial reactions to the Confederate Flag was banned from NASCAR events.
Right now for Pro Wrestling as a whole, we need to be careful on the accusations that are thrown out there… Lots of he said, she said out there and again, anyone can post something on Social Media. Through 2020, there is certainly a lot more courage going around to speak up about injustices. However, in the case of any sexual wrongdoing, we’ve already endured the #MeToo movement which ripped the cover off the workplace harassment environment between Men and Women. Many have lost their jobs in the Media and actually some in pro wrestling for participating in a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment policies have been increased in toughness to better protect workplaces and wrestling that are seeing increasing amounts of women participating and climbing the ladder legitimately for top spots.
To me, it just seems like some coordinated movement happened with #SpeakingOut on the Pro Wrestling business. It just happened all at once, for whatever reason, last Thursday and Friday. Something is up… It’s not just everyone finding confidence to speak out during 2020 but some other coordinated effort to take down wrestlers or even promotions.
And it seems to me that anybody who said something ignorant during the past is also at risk. If you’re a wrestler on Social Media or who did a Podcast during the past, you better tap into your memory banks to see if you posted or said something inappropriate. The Cancel Mob will come to get you, too. Sammy Guevara said something highly inappropriate about Sasha Banks 4 years ago. I’m not condoning it in any way but I’m sure that the almost 27 year old Sammy would slap the 23 year old Sammy for saying that. People mature and can evolve… We have to give people a chance to do that. Upon hearing that video clip, Sammy reached out and called Sasha Banks to apologize. That’s what the more mature almost 27 year old version of Sammy would do… But is AEW right for suspending him indefinitely?
Mind you, the early prototype show for AEW from the 2018 “All In” show featured a wrestler named Joey Ryan who had an entrance that featured many guys in full dong costumes. And then, Joey Ryan hit his famous “suplex”. Why can’t Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks, who are now AEW Executive Vice Presidents, be held accountable for that past booking? The same AEW who suspends Sammy for something he said 4 years ago is operated by the same guys who thought placing Joey Ryan and his antics on the All In show was funny. AEW tried to hire Joey Ryan full time too but only if he cleaned up some of his usual gimmicks (after severe backlash that followed All In).
And speaking of Joey Ryan… After the initial allegations came out about him, he tried to put out a statement that tried to admit to more wrong doing… And that caused even more allegations to come out about him. Following that, many wrestlers (Young Bucks, especially, who deleted their Being the Elite episodes with Ryan) and several wrestling insiders were SHOCKED that Joey Ryan would behave in that manner. HELLO?!? The guy required wrestlers to grab his junk in the middle of the ring. That is what many “old time wrestling” fans have been preaching about for YEARS on Ryan and yet we were considered “out of touch”. No, we’re just pointing out the obvious that sexual harassment was happening inside the ring and out in the open. Any wrestlers who went along with Ryan’s move should have simply said “NO I won’t playfully grab your sexual organ”. FINGER OF SHAME for many fans who were enabling this bad behavior and cheering on this crotch grabbing.
You have to deal in facts… Sadly for Ryan, he has a lot piling on him through his own actions inside the ring, by his own statements admitting it, and by many people coming forward with proof.
In my opinion about Joey Ryan, if he would have just toned his antics down to what “Ravishing” Rick Rude would do or even Goldust. I once suggested that Ryan could have done well in AEW if Dustin Rhodes, who played Goldust, could have agented Ryan. Instead, Ryan chose to remain with his Bar Wrestling scene where many inappropriate things were done inside the ring and apparently, outside of the ring as well.
The wrestling business gobbles up many and spits them out… The road can be dangerous, as it can get lonely out there and sometimes wrestlers buy the hype of their own characters to feel invincible. With more women finding opportunities within the business, respect has to be shown their way… The days of going from city to city to find “rats” are over and wrestlers need to be a bit more careful. Marty Scrull of Ring of Honor/NWA is feeling the heat of accusations from 2015 which he has considered as “consensual”… But the girl was 16 years old at the time when Marty was apparently 26 years old. One shouldn’t take the advice of Booger from the movie Revenge of the Nerds to “comb the the High Schools all day”. Hook up with people your own age, not someone where you have a decade on them in age and they are in their teenage years.
If I were a public figure like a wrestler or other celebrities, I’d just use Social Media for public relations like where I’d be performing. Keep the recorded interviews limited… Cancel Culture is coming for everyone and it doesn’t matter if it’s from the Past or Present… Wrestlers HAVE to be careful on what they say or post. Gotta be smarter on who you hang out with, when and where you party, and not be tone deaf to the times.
On another note…
I just want to reiterate some of the Financial advice that I gave in my earlier columns. I’d recommend that if you can, save your money… I really worry about the latter half of the 2020 year. Many believe that it can’t be any more worse but I believe that it can. The economic effect of the quarantines, in my opinion, has been fully felt and we have a Presidential Election during November. Both sides are the most divided that I’ve ever seen in my life time and I believe there will be pure panic if either side loses. On one hand, you have many on the right-wing who desperately want Trump to remain in office and are big believers in the 2nd Amendment. Meanwhile, many on the left blame Trump for much of 2020’s actions along with prior years… I believe that the Election Day disappointment will erupt either side and things could get ugly.
2020 is going to be one for the history books and we’re not even halfway there yet. That is TERRIFYING. Save your money, protect your assets, and just lay low to not bring any negative attention towards yourself.
And now, onto your questions about Pro Wrestling…
ASK MR. TITO – Your Questions, My Answers
Do you believe in Jim Cornette’s explanation?
Yes I do… He provided dates that contradicted the accusations, proved that the Twitter user was a fake, and he confirmed with the real person who was conversing with Stacy. His “Drive Thru” Podcast from Monday seemed to answer everything for me.
That said, the beauty of Jim’s podcasts are that they are raw, unfiltered, and fearless… But sometimes, he takes it too far like ripping Dana Brooke for her looks. That went too far along with his comments regarding AEW announcer Justin Roberts. His fearless style of saying anything at anytime will open up the door for him to be attacked online. Also for Corny, he speaks out on politics and that will cause additional targets on his back for attacks.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see more online attacks that attempt to make mountains out of molehills. It’s the cost of doing business for Jim’s style of being brutally honest.
Do you believe that Charlotte Flair will return to the WWE this year?
No… I believe that the Baby Factory is open for Charlotte Flair, wooooooo!
Let’s think about this for a second… What else could Charlotte accomplish in the WWE? In just a short 5 year timespan, she has been a 10 time women’s champion. She has wrestled everybody humanly possible in the WWE. There is nothing more to accomplish.
And no, she should NOT be wrestling Men… As athletically superior as she may be, she’s maybe 150 pounds of muscle at worst… Most male wrestlers are above 200 pounds and have her beat on height. Physics and science say “NO”. This isn’t Impact Wrestling.
Actually, Tessa Blanchard is who she should be wrestling… That’s a great match-up to have Flair’s child taking on Tully Blanchard’s. $$$$$ In case you haven’t heard, Tessa was just released by Impact Wrestling.
Where do you think that Tessa Blanchard will go now that she is done with Impact Wrestling?
Let’s not forget that Tessa had a few things revealed last year from several of her fellow co-workers. Several wrestlers accused her of bullying… This is in addition to Tessa’s past of not working out well with the WWE.
I contend that All Elite Wrestling is where Tessa should go. They need her talent, badly, as their Women’s Division remains lackluster. Her dad Tully already works for AEW, too.
AEW is a perfect fit… WWE wouldn’t appreciate her talents and they’ve already discarded her. Plus, corporate WWE wouldn’t want her after the bullying accusations. See what I mean from my opening rant? Accusations stick whether they are true or not.
What should the WWE do with the many COVID-19 Positive Tests?
Panic. The issue is that the WWE did half-arsed testing to begin with and now they are paying for it. If the State of Florida decides to change the WWE from being a “essential” to “non-essential” business, they are cooked. Luckily for the WWE, however, both the MLS and NBA are both placing their entire league’s operations in Florida and will thus keep sports as “essential”.
However, this will challenge the WWE roster and availability of talent. Furthermore, I believe that more wrestlers and workers will just stay home. For one, wrestlers aren’t making much without the crowds in place and working fewer shows. They are just working off their downside guarantees and nothing else.
This goes to show you how dependent the WWE is on their Comcast/FOX deals. Without touring, the WWE only makes money from providing some kind of new television content. That said, we were heading towards this trend anyway because through late 2019, the WWE was starting to cancel Houseshows. Merchandise sales have been down for years, too… Thus, we were heading to this model of being too dependent on TV deals anyway.
Thus, this threat of losing talent and being shutdown by the state of Florida to cease that ability provide new television content could present a financial risk for the WWE. I highly doubt, however, that Florida will shut the WWE down because Linda McMahon has financial secured that from never happening. Politics, man… And WWE obviously has a big friend in a high place.
Should AEW panic over NXT beating them in the ratings this week?
What about that precious 18-49 demo? (Speaking in a Dave Meltzer voice) No, they should not concern themselves with NXT because it’s clearly the WWE trolling them on Wednesday nights. Their real concern is their inability to ever be consistently above 800,000 viewers. Their weekly ratings are terrible and desperate wrestling fans have lowered the standards for AEW’s performance.
Plus, COVID-19 has proven that wrestling with smaller audiences of non-wrestling fans just don’t look interesting on television. However, AEW has been consistently under 1 million fans per week on TNT, which has almost 90 million available households, since the first few weeks that the show began airing. Something just isn’t drawing overall with that roster. Until AEW finds that top babyface draw that transcends the wrestling business, expect more of the same even if fans fully come back. I just don’t think that AEW’s current roster has that guy…
What did you think of WWE Backstage getting cancelled by FS1?
Last week, I remarked on how WWE Backstage only receiving 175,000 viewers for a show that was hyped and featured both Bret Hart and CM Punk was sad. Furthermore, I remarked that FS1 is available in 85 million homes nationwide and it could only draw 175K with that star power?
The FACT is that after fans endure 3 hours of RAW on Monday, they don’t want to endure a Tuesday non-wrestling show hosted by Renee Young that has zero teeth or realism. The show has been terrible even with CM Punk. Amazing how this show completely wasted the return of CM Punk to pro wrestling and may have diminished any desired effect from any potential in-ring comeback.
WWE Backstage suffered from “RAW fatigue”, which Tuesday Night Smackdown also endured… Hard to dedicate 2 nights in a row to Pro Wrestling which becomes 3 if it is a Pay Per View week. I believe that most fans just want Tuesday OFF to watch something else and maybe are done for the week (hence why Wednesday night shows aren’t drawing).
Just a poor attempt by FS1 and WWE to make a good show. Wasted opportunity all around.
And now, the final rant…
THE LAST WORD
I’m sad to see that the Undertaker has retired yet I’m happy at the same time. What a career. In my opinion, the Undertaker had the best TOP TO BOTTOM career in WWE history. While I’d consider Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, John Cena, and the Rock to be bigger all-time greats than the Undertaker due to their top drawing power… But each of those guys either didn’t have a better start to their WWE tenures or they didn’t end well. Undertaker’s debut and first year was amazing and his career ended perfectly with the Boneyard Match.
The beauty for me, as a wrestling fan, is that I was able to enjoy the entire run of the Undertaker based on my age and when I began watching wrestling. I became a full-blown wrestling fan during late 1988 and I remember this tall red-haired wrestler who filled in for absences for the Skyscrapers team for the NWA/WCW promotion. Then, he had a short solo career in NWA/WCW. Within those matches, you could clearly see that the future Undertaker had talent. It blew my 10 year old mind to see him walk those ropes!
The fact that Ole Anderson, who was head WCW booker during 1990, flat out told Mark that he’d “never draw money” is absurd to me. This was the first nail in WCW’s coffin as they let go one of the biggest wrestlers ever and Vince McMahon was glad to have him. Vince gave him the most perfect gimmick ever and the wrestler embraced the gimmick by adding his own personal touches to it. The rest was history… 30 years of great business!
The Undertaker was a bad mofo from the start… Dark, mysterious, and dangerous… Putting wrestlers in bodybags! And then they added the former Percy Pringle manager from World Class to him as Paul Bearer. Talk about a perfect fit! “Ahhhhh, my Undertaker!”. Yet, after his impressive debut, Undertaker had to work with big hosses and then slugs. It wasn’t until Undertaker got to wrestle with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels that the great in-ring talent came back out again. Bikertaker during the early 2000s was a nice change and then his work on Smackdown with Brock Lesnar brought in some MMA influence for his in-ring style. Wrestlemania streak became known and then Undertaker had future amazing Wrestlemania matches with Shawn Michaels and Triple H. I really love his CM Punk match from 2013’s Wrestlemania.
Yeah, he wrestled part-time… And yeah, some of his matches had issues… While Undertaker’s age came into play, I really didn’t like the efforts of Bray Wyatt, Bill Goldberg, and Roman Reigns. His match with John Cena should have been longer at Wrestlemania. Just when we thought that Undertaker was “down and out”, he gives us one last great match with AJ Styles in the Boneyard match which was one of the best and most raw brawling that we’ve seen in the WWE for years.
Undertaker walks out with his head held high…
John Cena’s career fizzled by going part-time to become an actor. Ditto with the Rock, although I really didn’t like his 2012-2013 comeback. Steve Austin fell apart during 2002-2003 although he put over the Rock at Wrestlemania 19. Hulk Hogan stuck around after his expiration date passed and got into some serious personal trouble.
So the real question is this… What now for the Undertaker?
Can we have him added to the WWE Creative Team already?
Who else knows the business better than Undertaker? Who else knows what it takes to give wrestling fans the bigtime matches that they crave? Who knows how to do “more with less” better than the Undertaker? Mark can cut amazing promos and can teach wrestlers how to stay in character at all times.
The WWE has become rotten because they aren’t placing enough former wrestlers in top Creative positions within the WWE. They could have had Mick Foley, Edge, Christian, and even Shawn Michaels to become members of the Creative Team yet we’re still enduring Vince, Triple H, Michael PS Hayes, and a bunch of former television/movie writers. Because of this poor decision making on Vince McMahon for the make-up of his backstage staff, there lacks a generational void of wrestlers becoming management following their wrestling careers. Thus, the veteran wrestlers aren’t helping the younger generations as much as they used to.
At the very least, let the Undertaker be a consultant who can email or fax thoughts on RAW and/or Smackdown to the WWE offices.
So just chill… Until the next episode!
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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
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
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