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The EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING has returned to WrestlingHeadlines.com, a LordsofPain.net company. Good lord, it must be Wrestlemania season because so much is hitting the fan right now. I have lots to cover right now, especially the events that have shaken up the Smackdown roster’s Wrestlemania matches. If you have been reading my columns for years, you’ll know exactly what I’m about to say regarding Goldberg and Bray Wyatt/Fiend. The Internet Wrestling Community wants to hate on Bill Goldberg, but remember, he’s not a booker backstage… Additionally, if Bray Wyat was SUCH A DRAW, then his Wrestlemania title match and potential main event wouldn’t be changed less than 2 months before the show.
Before I dig deeper into this week’s “ASK MR. TITO” questions, I do want to express a THANK YOU to my many great readers out there. I don’t exist or continue to write these columns without you. I am very fortunate to have a great audience, many of whom have been with me me for 20 years now. I’m feeling a good column groove now by simply writing on the weekends to avoid the Insomnia issues that I endured for the past decade that helped contribute to me “retiring” during 2018. It’s NOT healthy to meet Tuesday/Wednesday posting deadlines by writing late into the night. And if I could make a recommendation to all of you… Stop consuming caffeinated products. I’d consume a Soda to keep me writing late into the night and little did I know the health effects that it would present to me in my late 30s. If you’re younger than that, try to start consuming less energy drinks, soda, coffee, and even chocolate.
Point being, I can only exist as Mr. Tito by writing during the weekends now and I’m thankful for my many readers for the praise that these now weekly columns are receiving. I’ll keep writing them if you’re all still willing to read them.
The haters can just kiss my arse and should seek other columns if they dislike mine so much. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t review stuff that I dislike… When is the last time that you heard of me reviewing Impact or Ring of Honor? Notice how I stopped reviewing RAW, Smackdown, or Pay Per Views too? I reduce consumption of things that I dislike… WWE only gets my WWE Network money just a handful of times per year and AEW has to really earn my respect to get $59.99 out of me for a Pay Per View. Many of you haters of my columns should wonder why that you keep clicking into my columns and pissing & moaning in the Comments section about how terrible I am. Maybe you should go write a column yourself and show me how it is done? Make sure that you provide a link so that I can troll you in the comments section, too.
To your questions we go!
What did you think of Bill Goldberg defeating Bray Wyatt/The Fiend for the WWE Universal Title?
I couldn’t be happier.
And it’s NOT because I’m a huge Bill Goldberg fan or anything. I nearly covered Bill’s entire career as a writer, as my first column during October 1998 covered his Halloween Havoc match against Diamond Dallas Page. I have actually been very critical of Bill’s performance as an in-ring worker throughout the rest of 1998-2001 for WCW, I didn’t like his 2003-2004 WWE run, and outside of his work with Brock Lesnar, his matches have been subpar since his 2016 return to the WWE. Thus, if you think that I am just an old Monday Night Wars fan rooting on an old WCW favorite, THINK AGAIN. I have 20 years of columns out there for you to read otherwise.
This WWE Universal Title change AND revision of Wrestlemania 36 plans is an indictment of pushing The Fiend too hard as a character and champion. Period, end of story. Viewership numbers aren’t growing for Smackdown, attendance keeps declining, merchandise sales keep sinking, and WWE is beginning to cancel Houseshows because they are unprofitable now. Bray Wyatt has been WWE Champion since late October 2019 and the “buck stops here” for what has been headlining Smackdown television shows and live events.
Nothing makes sense to have a guy known for his Deliverance character named Bray Wyatt to suddenly start doing stupid Firefly Funhouse shows and then to appear in a stupid mask to act like a psychopath. Worse yet, his matches have SUCKED… He has only changed as a worker by (a) selling less and (b) stealing Mankind’s mandible claw. Years of in-ring wear and tear have added up on him as a worker, as he’s no longer as mobile or flexible as a bigger guy worker. The WWE Production Truck owns part of the blame for the red lighting during the matches that always deflated the crowd, but the WWE Production Truck should also deserve PRAISE for making that entrance look completely badass to sell the character. Thus, I won’t blame them as much as others have.
But getting back to my main point, Pro Wrestling is about good or evil characters chasing Championship Titles. When pro wrestling FAILS is when the characters go completely off the rails and lose any concept of reality. The Undertaker was great when he just acted mysterious in the ring and then put his losing opponents in bodybags. He lost his charm when he did stupid things like being resurrected, sacrificing other wrestlers as a “demon”, burying wrestlers alive in an arena (wouldn’t the arena get sued for that?). However, the Undertaker was at his best when he took the pursuit of the WWE Title seriously or pushed for bigtime headlining matches at Wrestlemania. Without stupid stuff in his way, the Undertaker could just cut promos and wrestle… With stupid stuff in the way, he had to justify what the Ministry was or why there were TWO Undertakers at one point.
Since the Deliverance type character debuted, the WWE has blown their load on that character with too much Creative. What was his first match again in the WWE? Wrestling Kane with the damn ring ropes being on fire. Things were kept simpler in NXT when he was just leading a stable of “family” members to impose their will on fellow wrestlers. His feud with Randy Orton during 2017 was a COMPLETE DISASTER because again, we were pushing supernatural crap by having images of insects just suddenly appear in the ring.
Meanwhile, the WWE never acknowledges WHO Bray Wyatt actually is in real life… In addition to his real life brother Bo Dallas (also renamed, refusing his legacy too), Bray’s real name is Windham Rotunda. And why is he named that in real life? Because he’s the son of Mike Rotunda, a former wrestler in that name and also “I.R.S” in the WWE and wrestling legend Barry Windham’s sister. Sure, many wrestlers like to make a name for themselves… But what about the Rock, Charlotte Flair, Randy Orton, Natalya, Cody Rhodes, Bret/Owen Hart, and many more? They’ve embraced WHO THEY ARE and used that as an extra asset to help them get noticed. For each case that I’ve mentioned, they aren’t just there because of their Dads wrestling… Each has something to offer. Sometimes, you have wrestlers who can make it on their own such as Macho Man Randy Savage and Goldust who can rename themselves and try to hide their legacies… But being a next Generation star has rarely hurt anyone.
But instead, we’ll go over-the-top with the Deliverance Bray Wyatt character and now with Firefly Funhouse/The Fiend.
This is just a continuation of the FAILURE of the Talent Developmental system under John Laurinaitis/Triple H and the Creative Direction pushed by Vince McMahon and a bunch of failed Hollywood writers that he hired. WWE is rotten because of its infrastructure in place, period, and wrestlers like Bray Wyatt/The Fiend will always suffer because of it. Someone like a Roman Reigns lacks fundamentals like Orton/Cena/Lesnar/Batista because he didn’t have wrestling veterans like Jim Cornette & Danny Davis carefully training them not only on how to work matches properly, but how to cut promos. The Performance Center is FAILING the WWE and Triple H just doesn’t have that eye for talent and discipline that Jim Ross once had. Sure, NXT shows are fun, but they are basically showcases of Cruiserweight talents doing high risk moves (though the Women’s wrestling is quite good, but gets erased once any wrestlers join WWE).
Could you imagine if Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, and many others could have trained in a Territory-like developmental system that the WWE actually had during the late 1990s and the first half of the 2000s? Jim Ross created real developmental plans for each wrestler and Davis/Cornette imposed them with an iron fist. The same could be said if Bill Goldberg was in the WWE ecosystem instead of WCW’s… Sure, Goldberg gave them a good 1998 run, but he was a major bust in WCW after following that year. Now, he struggles to work matches above 1 minute… Seriously… But working for Les Thatcher or Cornette/Davis, Goldberg would be a much more polished wrestler and a way better talker. Goldberg worked briefly in the WCW Power Plant, which wasn’t as robust on training and didn’t tour like a wrestling operation as Cornette/Davis’s OVW promotion actually did. Goldberg’s initial training shows on him long-term.
Here is what the Internet Wrestling Community needs to realize… The WWE failed on developing Bray Wyatt into a better wrestling talent and to mask his weaknesses. Period. Bill Goldberg winning is just a temporary solution to “cut losses” on the Fiend’s failure to draw and have good matches. WWE placed their chips back on Roman Reigns and just couldn’t resist the idea, on paper, of Bill Goldberg versus Roman Reigns. That’s the kind of match that WWE can sell to FOX to help promote and they can advertise for Wrestlemania 36 to draw in non-loyal WWE fans to watch. Many former WCW fans, nostalgic of the 1998 stuff, will tune in to see how Goldberg does against the WWE’s overpushed babyface named Roman Reigns. Vince is counting on that and he’s right… But Vince is also right about the Fiend. He was NOT drawing. Viewership, attendance, and merch prove that. Cancelling Houseshows, too.
Internet Fans just hitched their wagons on the Fiend as the latest character to support in order to TROLL the WWE. Same could be said for Rusev, Kofi Kingston, Becky Lynch, and others… Sometimes, the WWE falls for it and derails their long-term plans in order to satisfy the very loyal fanbase trolling them. Nobody cared for “Rusev Day” but what they cared about was the terrible booking surrounding him and pushing guys like Jinder Mahal as WWE Champion. Becky Lynch only got over because fans rejected her heel turn on Charlotte and were also mad about Nia Jax making her bloody with a potato punch. Kofi Kingston’s cheers last year were 100% trolling and the WWE fell for it by actually making him WWE Champion. How did that turn out again? Complete disaster. And now the Fiend, which is a 100% protest vote against Seth Rollins as an overpushed wrestler.
Yes, it’s a BAD MOVE to make a 53 year old former WCW wrestler who actually cannot work as champion. You won’t find me disagreeing with you at all… But the Fiend is a BUST as a Main Event pushed wrestler. Stop denying that, internet. It’s partially the wrestler’s fault for struggling in the ring as Champion while WWE Creative & Talent Development own the other part of the blame. WWE’s continued failures causes them to be reliant on Goldberg, Undertaker, or any member of the OVW Class of 2002 (Cena, Batista, Lesnar, and Orton) to “save them”. What did WWE Smackdown just do this past Friday? It placed Bill Goldberg AND John Cena on the Wrestlemania 36 card.
Husky Harris, Bray Wyatt, Firefly Funhouse/The Fiend have all struggled as characters… His in-ring matches, unless they are against Daniel Bryan or a hardcore match against Roman Reigns, has all been subpar. Is anyone tripping over themselves to watch a specific Bray Wyatt match over and over again on the WWE Network? While the WWE creative process can be blamed, the talent of Bray Wyatt needs to rise up and overcome it. His matches during 2019 and 2020 have been BAD… WWE had terrible booking, too, during 1996 yet amazing talents like Steve Austin could overcome it in his own way. “Austin 3:16” anyone?
Time to accept reality, Internet, and find a better horse to back. During 1996, wrestling fans were united in supporting 1 singular guy who deserved it and the WWE struggled to resist pushing him. His name was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and by 1998, he was WWE Champion and caused the WWE’s business to boom. You need to pick a BETTER WRESTLER to back with your support to help elevate them to the top that causes many casual fans, outside of the WWE, to want to watch wrestling. The Fiend did NOTHING for casual fans, former fans, or new fans outside of the WWE. He was just a vehicle for existing and very loyal WWE fans to use to troll the WWE.
So yeah, I’m happy about Bill Goldberg winning but ONLY because it ends the ridiculous reign of The Fiend as the top guy for Smackdown. Back to the drawing board for the WWE and for fans, as maybe it’s time to start heavily backing Cody Rhodes by watching AEW more? In my opinion, that’s THE GUY right now in the wrestling business who can work and cut killer promos. If WWE’s decision to depush and seriously bury the Fiend upsets you, then STICK IT TO THE WWE by watching & supporting AEW more. This competition can really intensify if WWE’s numbers decline and AEW’s numbers rapidly increase at the same time.
The Fiend just wasn’t a draw and the numbers show that, period. Thus, the quick change was needed. I’m now more interested in Wrestlemania now because of it, as Goldberg vs. Reigns is an on-paper great match-up and John Cena can make Bray Wyatt look better inside the ring… Maybe? Remember, Cena and Bray wrestled at Wrestlemania 30 and that match wasn’t good… That was a Wyatt who was 6 years younger, too. Many injuries have racked up since.
Yes, Goldberg is old… And yes, both matches in Saudi Arabia lately against the Undertaker and the Fiend have been BAD. But who, in the last 3 years, has pulled out good matches with Bray or the Undertaker? Maybe Daniel Bryan recently against the Fiend? Both the Undertaker and Bray Wyatt are larger wrestlers who have endured their share of upper body injuries. Both guys, as the mileage piles up, don’t want to get slammed… Thus, neither guy jumps into any Jackhammer moves attempted on them. It’s pure dead weight to Bill Goldberg, especially in his 50s.
Ask yourself this logically… How is that Goldberg was able to toss around Brock Lesnar like he was a feather but struggles to lift Undertaker/Bray who are actually almost equal in weight to Lesnar? Lesnar and Bray WEIGH THE SAME while Undertaker weighs slightly more than them due to his height. Just watch at Wrestlemania 36 how easily Goldberg will lift Roman Reigns… Reigns will jump into those Jackhammers and make it seem like Goldberg is wrestling a Cruiserweight out there. Bray and Undertaker have just accumulated too many injuries that they have become too hesitant on being slammed anymore. Wrestling is about the performance of BOTH members in the ring and if one side isn’t selling, the match will look bad. Bray and Undertaker didn’t want to take the Jackhammer and thus didn’t jump to help the move get executed properly. Their fault.
Again – How is it that Goldberg can lift a 286 pound Brock Lesnar like a feather but struggles to lift a similiar weighted Fiend? Goldberg isn’t that much older than when he worked with Lesnar during 2017.
The Internet Wrestling Community needs to be more critical of the Fiend, period. Quit using him as the latest vehicle to troll the WWE. Numbers don’t lie and his reign as the top guy for the last 6 months are quite telling. Only you, the loyal WWE fanbase, who REFUSE to stop watching no matter who bad things get, are trying to back the Fiend as “the guy”. Everyone else is laughing at how the WWE just tried to push a wrestler with a goofy smiling mask as their World Champion during the first year of their FOX contract (available now in 120 million homes, by the way).
With that question, I could post this column alone…
How could the latest WWE Stock declines hurt the WWE?
In case you haven’t heard, the Stock Market took a MASSIVE BEATING this week with several large declines. The fear, right now, is that the Corona Virus is spreading and that has a major impact on the country of China where most manufactured goods are produced these days. If you check out any of your clothing or electronics, they likely say “Made in China”.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average started the week off at 28,402.93 and closed the week at 25,196.47, a big 3,000+ point decline in one week. That’s not normal at all.
Conversely, the WWE stock started the week at 47.74 and ended the week at 46.77. That doesn’t seem all bad but consider that it had a peak low moment of 45.35 and also that the WWE stock took its losses earlier when the Co-Presidents were fired and the 2019 financials came out. When you consider WWE’s 52 Week High was 100.95, you start to see the bigger picture on the WWE stock’s troubles.
How does this impact the WWE? It’s all about their Balance Sheet. Balance sheet’s are combination of what the WWE uses to raise as capital, Liabilities, in order to support their business operations that make them money, Assets. For the WWE, they are reliant on borrowing money from Banks and raising Equity from offering shares of Stock to the public as their primary means of raising capital. The benefits of having a HIGHER WWE Stock price is that they don’t have to borrow from the Bank as much… With a Bank Loan, the WWE has to pay an interest rate and also has to put up collateral to back up such loan. Banks could also tell them “no” on borrowing requests and also review their existing loans for quality issues. With their Equity, however, they just need the Price to go up to have more capital to use.
Simply put, when the WWE Stock price increases, it allows the WWE to borrow less and be less reliant on Bank Loans to fund operations… However, when the WWE Stock declines, they become increasingly dependent on their banks to borrow money to sustain their Liabilities side of their Balance Sheet in order to fund their Assets side of the Balance Sheet.
So, when the WWE goes from $100 per share to $46 per share, that’s a massive hit when the WWE has just over 90,000,000 diluted shares out there. WWE now has a choice of borrowing more from the Banks instead, which will increase the Borrowing Costs line item on their Income Statement which will eat into Revenues, or to CUT COSTS as an offset. I predict a mixture of both happening if the WWE Stock continues to flounder. I also predict that a “Spring Cleaning” happens after Wrestlemania and throughout 2020, as Vince McMahon needs the WWE Stock to rebound in order to make HIM, the top WWE shareholder, more money to fund the XFL. When the WWE Stock drops, Vince’s personal net fortune takes a hit and that will cause problems for the XFL too.
In hindsight, was the decision for Brock Lesnar to defeat the Undertaker to END the Wrestlemania Streak a good one?
Yes it was… As my buddy CoreyG points out on Twitter, Brock Lesnar was actually “damaged goods” heading into 2014. Lesnar returned during 2012 and immediately loses to John Cena. Then, he did a series with Triple H which gave us subpar matches. Yes, Lesnar won the series of 3 matches, but who won that Wrestlemania 29 match again? While I consider CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar to be one of the best matches of all time (my 2013 “Match of the Year”, easily), that SummerSlam drew poorly on Pay Per View.
Then, 2014, with the advent of the WWE Network, sees Brock Lesnar ENDING the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Streak at Wrestlemania 30 to the shock of everyone. NOBODY predicted that match result because again, Lesnar’s star power had been reduced due to bad booking. Lesnar goes on to Summerslam 2014 and just DESTROYS John Cena in a squash match with multiple German Suplexes. That match actually started the “Suplex City” stuff that actually gave Lesnar some flavor as a character. Fast forward to 2015 and the WWE tried to push Reigns over him but plans changed… Lesnar loses the title to Seth Rollins, who cashed in the MITB case to pin Roman Reigns in the makeshift Triple Threat match, and it was at that moment that really made Lesnar. That RAW after Wrestlemania 31 where Lesnar went bonkers and attacked everone in sight made him the monster draw that he is.
That Undertaker match FIXED Brock Lesnar into the Main Event killer that he should have been from the start during 2012. Instead, the WWE had him lose instantly to John Cena and then have a series of bad matches with Triple H. All was fixed by the quick decision by Vince to end the Streak and it was a genius one, in my opinion. No other wrestler could have benefitted by appearing legitimate to beat the Undertaker in that match. Lesnar, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, did… Ending the Streak FIXED how Lesnar was presented and the WWE has been super reliant on Lesnar as their top guy ever since. 6 years of dominance by Lesnar and in my opinion, he is mostly responsible for the WWE Network‘s success. Outside of the Smackdown debut, you cannot watch Lesnar wrestle unless it is on WWE Network.
Undertaker’s prime was over once he wrestled that Wrestlemania 27 match against Triple H which injured him badly and in that Wrestlemania 30 match with Lesnar, he received a concussion. The expiration had already happened and Lesnar was perfect to be made into a bigger star because of it.
Now, however, the WWE has a difficult challenge of finding someone to appear legitimate to beat Brock Lesnar. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns were clearly NOT those guys to do it… Is Drew McIntyre? I don’t know, man…
I could do more than 3 questions this week, but then you’d take forever to read my column…
Onto my concluding rant… My questions were all about WWE and now it’s time to give AEW some love.
THE LAST WORD
The “Great” Brian Last, who hosts many great wrestling podcasts out there, has stated a few times that All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is lucky to be operating in a climate where the WWE is declining and putting on poor quality shows. To me, RAW and Smackdown are seriously unwatchable and I’ve become very selective of Pay Per Views, too, as only a part-time WWE Network subscriber.
In my opinion, the wrestling industry feels like 1995 right now… Back then, WWE’s business was continuing to decline following the peak of the Hulkamania Era. Sure, Bret, Shawn, Diesel, and others had good moments but they weren’t drawing that well in the United States. Meanwhile, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) had some decent interest by fans by signing former WWE greats like Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage to WCW contracts during 1994. Through mid-1995, Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff saw an opportunity to challenge the weakened WWE by creating WCW Nitro. Nitro was a Monday Night show that would now run opposite of Monday Night RAW. As you may have witnessed on the Monday Night Wars documentary, Nitro was quite a success…
But WCW struggled at first… After that first WCW Nitro that debuted Lex Luger, they mostly throwing things at the wall to see what was stick. Many older WCW fans will tell you the struggles of watching the Dungeon of Doom stable making a complete fool of itself each and every week on WCW Nitro. In addition, Sting seemed lost with Hogan/Macho around, the Four Horsemen gimmick felt old with Flair and Anderson, and Bischoff was trying out lots of new talent that the public never saw before.
Then, during early 1996, everything came to a head at WCW Uncensored 1996 with the “Doomsday Cage Match” where Hulk Hogan and Macho Man wrestled against multiple members of the Horsemen, Dungeon of Doom, and 2 Hollywood actors, one of which was “Zeus” or “Z-Gangsta” from WWE’s 1989 No Holds Barred film… The match was a COMPLETE DISASTER and prompted sweeping booking changes by Eric Bischoff. Gone were goofy gimmicks and more reality based characters. He put more sports competition into his shows, as all Midcard Titles had a purpose and the Cruiserweight Division began to feature smaller wrestlers in a serious light. Then, he came up with the BEST booking idea ever with the “New World Order” hostile takeover angle which fooled WCW fans into thinking that the WWE was actually illegally invading WCW.
The rest is history…
Do you see any parallels yet with AEW?
For 2019, AEW announced during mid-2019 that they would have a new show on TNT that would begin during the Fall of 2019. WCW announced WCW Nitro during mid-1995 and debuted during September 1995.
AEW has signed many unique talents that most of the public hasn’t seen before during 2019, just as Eric Bischoff did during 1995-1996. WCW fans weren’t warm to the new signings instantly and it took a while Bischoff to figure out how to herd everyone into the right sections of his show. AEW has signed a bunch of peculiar independent talent that the WWE wouldn’t dare sign to contracts… Might take a while for AEW to figure it out, but if they can keep many of the goofy and hardcore acts OUT of the main event picture, it could work. Top stars should only wrestle top stars, not midcarders.
At AEW’s first big show, Double or Nothing, Dean Ambrose appeared as a surprise to make fans instantly wonder who else was coming? During the first episode of WCW Nitro, Lex Luger appeared briefly after working with the WWE to make fans wonder who else from the WWE would join him?
But here’s where I see a striking similarity… Let’s go back to that WCW Uncensored 1996 event. In my opinion, that was the “Come to Jesus” moment for Eric Bischoff when he realized that his current product had gone off the rails too much and change was needed. For All Elite Wrestling, that “Come to Jesus” moment may have come in the form of pushing the Dark Order and Brandi Rhodes‘s “Nightmare Collective” angle and group too much. Their viewership numbers dipped during that period of time and fans were pondering if NXT might begin to beat them throughout 2020… Then, all of the sudden, the Nightmare Collective disappeared and the impact of the Dark Order was lessened.
What have we seen since the Nightmare Collective disappeared and the Dark Order’s impact has been reduced? A more serious AEW product that is heavily featuring Cody Rhodes and MJF.
AEW had their “Come to Jesus” or “WCW Uncensored 1996” moment and it could all be uphill from here.
The question is this… Besides pushing Cody Rhodes, who in my opinion, is the best wrestler in the business right now, can AEW find that next break-out star?
Secondly, can AEW create a great storyline that captivates wrestling fans and draws in casual fans like the New World Order did during 1996? Bischoff didn’t necessarily create any breakout stars during 1996 BUT what he did was package Scott Hall and Kevin Nash better while showcasing new wrestlers through the Cruiserweight Division.
Does AEW have the capacitity to groom the next breakout babyface star?
Does AEW’s collection of EVP’s have the capacity to create a great storyline or angle?
But we’re RIGHT THERE at the Spring 1996 point for WCW where WWE was struggling badly and wrestlers, with expiring contracts, were looking to leave the promotion. Also, WCW saw what didn’t work with the Uncensored 1996 main event and wanted Creative change. Lastly, WCW signed wrestlers that the WWE didn’t want and created a unique showcase to feature them in the Cruiserweight division.
As 2020 winds down, we’ll see what WWE free agents want to bolt the bloated yet declining WWE product to make a real difference in AEW. Secondly, we’ll see which of the EVPs will take better charge of the booking than the others.
In my opinion, AEW is actually BETTER than the WWE right now… But not just for AEW’s recent improvements but also because the WWE has deteriorated so much. LOOK at what the WWE just did… They scrapped their entire Wrestlemania 36 plans in just 2 days. That’s insane if you think about it and have zero back-up plan after pushing the Fiend (besides Roman). AEW has real stars at the top like Cody, Jericho, MJF, and Ambrose… But can they showcase those guys better? Can they show that it wasn’t just the New Japan system that made Kenny Omega look like a star?
You’d hear LESS from me if it weren’t for AEW being formed during early 2019… I started flirting with a comeback the second that they were announced to be forming a promotion and especially when Chris Jericho/Jim Ross were announced to join the promotion. As Mr. Tito and as a wrestling fan, I’m begging AEW to (a) TAKE MY TIME and (b) TAKE MY MONEY as a longtime wrestling fan because during late 2018, I was so sick of the WWE pissing me off that I was willing to walk away from a highly successful column stint at LordsofPain.net (now rebranded as WrestlingHeadlines.com), something of which I could actually get paid for doing if I ever chose to do it. But then, AEW arrives and makes me flirt with being a fan again and returning as Mr. Tito.
The AMAZING thing is that AEW was just formed during January 2019 and they are just over 1 million viewers and just a few thousand in attendance, per televised shows, from being equal to the established WWE promotion.
WWE is very weak at the knees right now… Hit them with a baseball bat by creating quality wrestling programming that either creates new top stars, has a compelling midcard, or creates a “can’t miss” storyline that introduces new fans to pro wrestling.
You have improved lately, AEW… Keep it up.
But the parallels to WCW during 1995-1996 are legitimately there and WWE is ripe for the picking. With Vince McMahon in place and surrounding himself with family, yes-men, or corporate/marketing types, WWE will never improve. Just in the past month, Vince McMahon fired two of his Co-Presidents AND changed his Wrestlemania 36 plans on a complete whim. Poor planning and snap judgment are in place at the WWE that will always cause fans to quit watching. WWE went from 4 million viewers of RAW during early 2015 to barely having 2 million during early 2020. Thousands lost in attendance per show and now houseshows are getting cancelled.
Now, it’s time for AEW to keep building off the Dark Order/Nightmare Collective “Come to Jesus” moments and get a little more serious about the presentation and how talents are used.
Oh, and we need Brandi Rhodes to be more like Miss Elizabeth and LESS like Stephanie McMahon on-screen. Seriously, you could be an asset to the company that helps complement Cody as a wrestler… But that Nightmare Collective stuff was hot garbage. You were starting to prove why the WWE only wanted to use you as a ring announcer and nothing else. YET, I listen to you during interviews and you are HIGHLY intelligent on top of your obvious good looks.
Jim Ross is on our roster… Just ask him how wrestling promotions can greatly improve just by taking the booking seriously, exploiting the strengths of talent, and fixing the presentation or reputation of your shows. Ask Arn, DDP, Billy Gunn, Tony Shiavone, and other veterans who want to help, too.
My only question is this… When a big WWE free agent becomes available, can he or she earn more than the Executive Vice Presidents (Omega, Cody, Young Bucks)? Or will the EVP’s pay-scales become adjusted if another talent earns more? I’m just curious…
So just chill… Until the next episode!
Play my Super Mario Maker 2 courses on the Nintendo Switch:
Die Hard (themed after the Bruce Willis Film): 2YH-48W-HMG
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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