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The EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING is back from the Retirement Home and is presented to you exclusively by WrestlingHeadlines.com, a LordsofPain.net company. Just as a heads up… We’re pushing the “Wrestling Headlines” brand now to better market our website. The “LordsofPain.net” domain name will always work and we’ll still be using the @LordsofPain… But in this day and age where remembering website addresses does not matter as much, particularly for younger audiences using Social Media… It just makes sense to call ourselves Wrestling Headlines and not trying to make everyone remember that we have a “.net” extension.
Same great LordsofPain.net website but now marketed as WrestlingHeadlines.com. That simple. As far as I know, I’ll still be known as “Mr. Tito” and will have freedom to write about anything that I choose. Ditto for the other columnists and podcasters will still say whatever they want on their shows.
We’ve owned the WrestlingHeadlines.com domain name for a while and have advertised having it as well. Nothing new… Just giving you a business “heads up” on some rebranding. It is just what you have to do to keep being relevant, I suppose…
On to your questions…
What do you think about Nyla Rose winning the AEW Women’s Title?
Poor planning on AEW’s part. The title switch happened on a random episode of AEW Dynamite, instead of maybe a hyped match or a Pay Per View, and Nyla wasn’t exactly pushed as a strong title contender either. By AEW’s own Women’s Rankings, Nyla Rose has a 6-4 overall record in AEW. Rose, with the obvious size and strength advantage, hasn’t exactly been dominant as a performer like a Nia Jax, Chyna, Snuka, or other larger/stronger female competitors. Nyla sells too much against much smaller athletes.
Thus, because of AEW’s own booking and poor development of Nyla, the title change is meaningless and doesn’t mean anything. It’s like when Sasha Banks won each of her Women’s Title wins over Charlotte Flair on random episodes of Monday Night RAW. Yet, Charlotte kept winning the titles back on Pay Per Views. Can you tell me which wrestler, Charlotte or Sasha, that WWE management still cares about? Who won the 2020 Royal Rumble and who was not even the damn match?
If this question is trying to bait me on Nyla being a Transgender, I don’t really care… It’s the United States and you have the absolute freedom to be who you want to be… You’re also allowed to suck or f**k whomever you want, too. With Nyla, I actually DID write a column already about her advantage as a Transgender and how AEW could actually use that to their advantage. It’s just Science on why Nyla should be physically imposing on the entire AEW roster in addition to her being obviously heavier than most of the division. AEW should simply take a page out of Nia Jax’s booking and be physically imposing on the rest of the roster (though Nia started losing to smaller athletes, too, thus negating her heat too). A great example on how to present and use Nyla Rose should be like the Transgender character in the great Australian show Wentworth named “Maxine”. Everyone knows who she is and fully accepts her as a fellow female… Yet, they know not to even challenge Maxine to a fight when she’s in the bodyguard role for Bea because Maxine has an obvious physical advantage.
And remember… AEW advertised and promoted that they signed a Transgender performer or else I wouldn’t have cared to mention it. As far as I can see, Nyla looks and acts like a female… I would have obviously said that she should be a dominant force anyway based on her size, anyway, without knowing her past. Yet, she’s had to sell to Riho… Riho is just above 5 feet tall and is reportedly under 100 pounds. Nyla should not only snap that one in half, but most of the Women’s wrestlers should have no problems manhandling Riho either. Yet, Riho has dominated the Women’s roster and thus, AEW’s Women’s division has been poorly received. Coincidence?
My issue with Nyla winning are this simple: (a) poorly promoted event for a title event and (b) Nyla’s own 6-4 record shows a lack of build-up for her to win the title.
What do you think about the potential Wrestlemania 36 booking of AJ Styles versus the Undertaker?
If you asked me this about 3-4 years ago, I would have been more in favor of it. But, AJ Styles and the Undertaker are now that much older. Undertaker is obviously limited by injuries endured during his 40s but AJ Styles, I’m afraid, is well on his back 9 of his career. The expectation of AJ Styles is that he’s a quick wrestler who takes calculated high risk moves. Just seems to me, with age, that he doesn’t have that spring in his step that we saw from his earlier TNA career or his first few years with the WWE.
And I’m not saying that as a negative towards AJ Styles… I’m about his same age. I’m not as good as I once was, to quote Toby Keith. Columns wise, I can’t write as often as I used to because Insomnia is bad for your health. But if I play a pick-up basketball or street hockey game or dare to play a tennis game, I’m sore for days. For running in basketball or hockey with my friends, I’m clearly not as fast as I used to be and my legs will be sore for days even if I stretch beforehand. For tennis, I can’t hit a serve as hard as I used to and then afterward, my shoulder/elbow are killing me for days. Things start falling apart physically during your 30s and things start to really hurt during your late 30s. I’ve noticed, in particular, that my vision is weakening. I’m lucky to have been born with perfect vision to see everything near me and far away… Now, there is a slight blur on things in the distance and my night vision isn’t quite as good.
Point is, things fall apart with age. You can’t do things physically as you once did when you were younger. That was my ENTIRE POINT when I was discussing Chris Jericho when I said “maybe his in-ring ability has deteriorated” and he responded directly to me (Click Here for Side by Side Comparison). Obvious thing to state is that Jericho doesn’t wrestle as much as he used to, but he’s not taking the high risk moves that a younger version of Jericho could. Yet, my further argument about Jericho was that age in Pro Wrestling DOES NOT MATTER because you can keep getting over with your personality/mic skills and still have good to great matches from time to time. Jericho, with age, saves his body for wrestling a few matches per year to maximize the quality for the biggest occasions. That’s what a smart veteran would do… I bet that Jericho, himself, would tell you that he has zero desires to work the WWE road schedule at his current age.
For one night, I’m sure that AJ Styles will put on a great effort… The match will likely be the Undertaker standing in the center of the ring and Styles will bounce off of him for most of the match. Unless Undertaker can bring something more to the match than that, it might be underwhelming. 4 years ago, however, Undertaker had a little more flexibility to do more and Styles was still in his physical prime and highly motivated to prove himself in the WWE.
What Undertaker needs is someone that can be more psychological in the ring and keep most of the action in the ring without any high impact spots. Someone like a Luke Harper would have been a perfect Undertaker opponent in that manner and Harper has the size to sell being a threat to him. But the WWE let that kind of guy go and has no one else on the roster who could challenge him.
I would honestly like to see Edge one day get a rematch with the Undertaker. Edge, in my opinion, pushed Undertaker to one of his better matches and I believe Edge is credible enough to score that big win against Undertaker. Edge also has the in-ring offense that would look good against anyone, too.
Who do you believe is the “hottest” WWE female, in terms of looks, right now?
If you are a “Social Justice Warrior” and would get offended by anyone commenting on a female’s looks, please scroll down to the next question. This is my column and I’ll answer my readers’ questions… OK?
To me, as I get older, I like the complete package… It’s one thing to have the physical look of what could look great splashed in the pages of Playboy, but it’s certainly another have other parts or a personality to complement those. To me, the BEST EVER female to ever grace the WWE television screen was Miss Elizabeth. In addition to Madonna and Vanna White, Elizabeth was the reason that my 8 year old self said “yeah, I like girls”, especially after seeing SummerSlam 88. I’m sure that many younger boys had that moment at this year’s Super Bowl Halftime show with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez demonstrating their “abilities” during their performances. Elizabeth was beautiful without trying… Great hair, beautiful face, great body without the surgical enhancements… But it was how Elizabeth carried herself that really set her apart. You believed that she was in real danger of being Macho Man’s valet and when you cried when Macho Man redeemed himself to reunite and marry Elizabeth on screen. That psychology of her character sold me on her as being the best in addition to looks.
After Elizabeth, I believe that Sunny, Sable, Torrie Wilson, and Trish Stratus are the best looking and best female presentations of the WWE. Sunny was more “girl next door” but it was her charisma that really sold her… She wasn’t as surgically enhanced as the latter persons mentioned. The other 3 were clear Playboy models, with 2 of them actually appearing in Playboy (many offers for Trish). Sable and Trish’s characters sold well with wrestling audiences and drew real reactions from fans. Sable drew legitimate face pops but then drew real heat when she turned heel. She was truly a walking Comic Book character. Trish was probably the most complete package and best in-ring worker. Torrie Wilson was the best from a WWE Public Relations standpoint. Just stunning to look at from head to toe and that smile would melt anyone. I actually met her during an appearance before a 2003 Smackdown in Columbus, OH and I was floored… Stunning to see in person and that smile melted everyone waiting in line.
Since Trish’s era… Eh, lots of pretenders. Many have the look of what Playboy has but often lacks the personality, appeal, or charisma that goes beyond looks. Maryse and Mandy Rose are perfect examples. Go look at what Mandy Rose wore during Royal Rumble 2020… Holy cow, that was quite a revealing outfit… But why isn’t she more over? Not as charismatic and she’s struggling to sell her sexuality with her personality or mic skills. Someone like Charlotte sells too much of her personality and overdoes it with her character results in the same negatives against her.
For today’s roster, I would rank Sasha Banks as #1 and Becky Lynch as #2… It’s head to toe looks, charisma, personality, and impact on the business. During 2018, I attended a Smackdown event in Pittsburgh when Sasha Banks made an unexpected appearance for the Mixed Tag tournament. Wow… Just stunning to see in person that exceeded what I thought of her on television. But look at her entrance and the character… It has a swagger to it that is very unique. Great hair, her face lights up when she smiles, and obviously, the rest looks physically good. Becky has more of that “girl next door” look but I believe it’s her inspiration to be a top performer that puts a big checkmark on her personality. Now, calling yourself “the Man” is a put off, but I can’t disagree with what sells merchandise.
As I get older, the ones who are obviously trying for that “Pam Anderson” like look are becoming less relevant for me. There is one in particular who is trying hard to look that way yet it’s her personality, strange facial looks, and lack of charisma that negates the rest of her physical appearance.
So there you go… “Hottest” female in the WWE for me is Sasha Banks. How that idiot promotion known as the WWE doesn’t push her to the moon is beyond me.
Why are there so many ads on your website? Why are there so many pop-up ads that interrupt our viewing experience?
Websites take money to operate in terms of paying for server space, bandwidth, domain name costs, paying contributors, and programming. Ads help make websites money in order to pay for those costs. Simple as that.
Many have complained to me not just about the ads but how they are presented… Maybe it creates pop-ups, uses flash ads that causes you to accidentally click into another website, or other things that might feel intrusive. However, I’d suggest that every other wrestling website has that SAME problem. Since dot com bust and many mergers of Ad companies since, there are really just a few ad companies to choose from right now online. Thus, most websites that have to run ads are enduring the same type advertisements from the same Ad companies. Webites are given an HTML code to place on their websites which can pull from a JAVA applet or something involving Flash that allows advertisers to rotate ads at their choosing. We cannot control what JAVA or Flash programming is fed through that HTML coding.
Lordsofpain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com is a side venture for the website’s owner. If he didn’t run ads, that is 100% of the costs coming directly out of his pocket and less for him to provide for his family. By running ads, it generates revenues to help pay for the costs to keep our website a live.
I’m sorry if any of the Ads are ruining the experience that you may have on our website… But we have no choice, just as other websites have no choice either. In my opinion, I’ve seen other top websites have it much, much worse because they have website’s design also slowing down loading times. LoP’s HTML code and presentation have always been made with efficiency in mind to offset some slowness that ads could possibly bring.
Looking at other websites, they are asking you to join their Patreon or join other types of pay services as workarounds for ads. So far from us, we haven’t asked you for your hard earned money… We’re not sure of the demand for that type of service, but we’ve been more about giving you headlines, results, columns, and other products without an additional fee or charge.
I’d recommend testing other types of browsers or seeing how things are loading from Social Media to see if that is a better fit to obtain our content or other website’s content. As the phrase goes, “there are many ways to skin a cat”…
You should probably also blame me for writing LONGER columns that might cause more ads to be presented to you… How about that?
And now, my final rant…….
THE LAST WORD
I’m getting this question often… What are your thoughts on Eric Bischoff’s Tweet about your TNA Ratings comment?
First of all, I commend Eric Bischoff… He didn’t call me out or get nasty with his response. He just politely disagreed and gave his opinion. That was refreshing considering how others in the business have been offended at what I might say. I really like listening to the 83 Weeks podcast (great lawn mowing entertainment), as I feel Conrad’s best work is when he’s debating Bischoff on the WCW past. I also feel that Bischoff was poorly utilized as “Executive Director” and was used as a scapegoat for poor ratings of the new Smackdown show. How have those ratings been since Bischoff left? Oh, that’s right, still the same. Why does Bruce Prichard still have his job then?
But let’s not keep kissing Bischoff’s arse, as it was me who BLAMED HIM directly for WCW’s downfall in my “The Day That WCW Died” column.
In case you missed the Twitter activity… Let’s catch you up to date:
On February 6th, I Tweeted the following: “So when TNA was consistently doing over 1 million on SpikeTV, that was considered “bad” but AEW on TNT, available in way more homes than Spike, does just above 900,000… That is a success? I’m starting to rethink @THEVinceRusso’s tenure in TNA & how fans took it for granted.”
To which Eric Bischoff Retweeted on February 7th by saying: “Comparing #’s from 8-10 years ago to today’s #’s is a losing proposition due to erosion of TV ratings due to streaming/OTT platforms across all of television. YTD ratings can be a legitimate indicator, but comparisons of 5, 10, 15 years ago is not. #smartenup #83Weeks”
For one, it’s funny to me that I’ve said MANY things about World Championship Wrestling in the past few years, including again, writing a column entitled “The Day That WCW Died” which directly blamed Eric Bischoff joining the NWO during late 1996 as the seed of destruction… But it takes a TNA ratings comment to actually get his attention. Oh, and maybe giving some credit to Vince Russo, a sworn enemy of Bischoff. Funny thing is that just a few days later after my February 6th tweet, Jim Cornette was making the same point about everyone praising AEW’s 900,000 fans and yet TNA took heat by not getting well above 1.5 million viewers.
Everybody says that “things are different now” without even remembering the past. During the late 1990s, there were FEWER homes with Cable/Satellite television than during 2020. That’s a FACT, even with the current decline of Cable/Satellite. Yet, more people tuned into RAW and Smackdown with fewer households having Cable/Satellite. RAW could have 5-7 Million viewers during the late 1990s compared to barely having 2 million now. Oh, and attendance has gone from selling out 15K to 20K sized arenas routinely to having 10K fans for a television/Pay Per Views being a major success. Many televised RAW or Smackdown shows now tarp off much of the upper decks and push seats to be sold on the television view as well. Merchandise sales are way down through 2020, too. You know, facts.
But during the late 1990s, Monday Night Football was on ABC and could actually score up to 30 million viewers on Monday Nights. Now, it barely does above 10 million on ESPN. Did I mention fewer homes had Cable/Satellite during the late 1990s than 2020? Oh yeah, I did… If you look at Console sales, Playstation 1 sold over 100 million units AND their games were easily pirated. Nintendo 64 sold about 32 million itself… I can include the Playstation 2 because it debuted during 2000 and would go on to sell 155 units as the best selling machine. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, DVD Sales were THROUGH THE ROOF… How is that not a valid competitive factor towards wrestling viewership? I know, it’s harder to walk 5 feet from your couch to insert a new disk, BUT WE DID THAT BACK THEN!
Throughout the 2000s, we had more gaming systems introduced and slightly less than and then eventually equal to the Cable/Satellite systems in place now. Cable/Satellite peaked about 2012/2013 before cord-cutting started to challenge things. The average amount of homes during the 2000s who had Cable versus the 2010s was actually fewer, even with the decline. Gaming actually peaked during the late 2000s, at least with home consoles and overall sales. Multiple Playstations, multiple Xbox units, the very successful Nintendo Wii and DS, and game downloads were beginning to show. Itunes and other music services were there, too, for more convenient music downloading. PLUS, many fail to realize how insane Piracy was during the 2000s. The efforts to force things to cheaper streaming services during the 2010s was actually there to combat people stealing shows, Pay Per Views, or movies. Why do you think that the WWE Network exists? Vince was struggling to make $44.99 per Pay Per View thanks to piracy so thus $9.99 was more appealing.
But let’s compare Spike TV versus TNT… Spike, when the WWE was on it, was on most basic cable systems. After the WWE left, however, Spike was moved to many Basic “Premium” packages that individuals had to pay extra to obtain. TNT has always been on Basic packages and through the late 2000s and early 2010s, was available in far more homes than Spike TV. From the charts available online, I saw about a 3-4 million household difference through the mid 2010s.
I can shoot down the “DVR” argument right now… About 7 years ago, it was reported that WWE RAW was viewed on replays between 400,000 to 500,000. Now, it’s between 300,000 and 400,000 and those were numbers from a few years ago. WWE RAW has deteriorated from being over 4 million live viewers during early 2015 to being just above 2 million viewers during 2020. The “300,000 to 400,000” DVR numbers were when WWE was just above 3 million viewers. Probably much less now.
Hulu doesn’t list either RAW or Smackdown in their top shows among their 30 million subscribers. Also, Hulu has a strong female demographic using it compared to other streaming services.
YouTube clips are hit or miss… Main Event segments can push above 1 million views but the undercard stuff is lucky to pop towards 500,000. Yet, it was reported by various places that the majority of YouTube viewership is from International sources (up to 70%).
Let’s just face FACTS… 2019-2020 has competitive options, but so did the late 1990s and the 2000s for your time and money. While Cable/Satellite subscriptions are declining through 2020, the # of subs STILL exceeds the average seen during the 2000s when TNA was doing between 1 to 2 million on Spike TV. TNT through 2020 is available in MORE homes than SpikeTV was at any point during the 2000s. FACT!
Same argument that I made with the WWE… Their LOWER RAW/Smackdown viewership coincides with (a) lower attendance and (b) lower merchandise sales. AEW went from initially being above 1 million viewers to making 900,000 viewers on a GOOD week. They lost 100,000 viewers in one week this week and that isn’t getting the criticism that it deserves. We’ve set the bar SO LOW for AEW because we are hoping & praying that they’ll challenge the WWE. Yet, if you look at AEW’s own attendance, things are looking scary. They went from selling out arenas quickly to having to tarp off upper decks of smaller arenas and also beginning to force more fans into the camera view. Same problem as the WWE… I can easily assume that with FEWER individuals attending AEW events, that is fewer AEW merchandise being sold too.
The revised TNT deal is reportedly subsidizing AEW to have some profit… WWE has that same problem too. The TV deal is covering everything. Lucky for the WWE and AEW, they are on networks who were heavily reliant on the Rerun market for viewership and advertisers. Thanks to Netflix, I can now watch reruns of Law & Order WITHOUT COMMERCIALS and no longer need TNT/USA Network for watching hit television shows that I may have missed. Thus, why TNT and USA Networks are now overpaying for any type of Live Sporting Events, especially for wrestling companies who actually absorb much of the production costs anyway. On top of that, while WWE might want to brag about their Television deals for the next 5 years, NFL, UFC, MLB, NASCAR, NHL, and NBA have much larger deals by comparisons AND for fewer shows in comparison. WWE has to work harder for less money than those other sports leagues. FACT!
Some of you will point out TNA’s attendance for events and I’ll point to extreme irony in that case… TNA pretty much stole Eric Bischoff’s idea of keeping costs low during 1993-1995 for live events in order to maximize the television product’s revenues. By keeping your tapings at one place always, you’re not sending trucks everywhere to load rings, camera equipment, guardrails, etc. The more ironic thing was during the early 2010s when TNA tried to get away from that model and also tried more houseshows. Hey, could someone tell me who was consulting TNA during that timeframe? I can’t remember…
TNA doing between 1 and 2 million during the 2000s, as I view it now, should be considered a SUCCESS if we’re considering AEW’s 700,000-900,000 viewership as “successful” during 2019-2020. Guys like Vince Russo, Jeff Jarrett, Jim Cornette, and Dutch Mantell need praised for their work there and anyone who was responsible for the company’s decline during the early 2010s should get heat. Each had to deal with Dixie Carter, too, and still found a way to make TNA draw around 1.5 million viewers. That should be considered remarkable.
We’re so desperate to make AEW into a legitimate competitor that we’ll lower our standards… Come on, wrestling fans. Either show patience and admit that it takes YEARS to grow a wrestling company or point out obvious flaws WHY AEW is struggling to draw better. The FACT is that if pro wrestling had an appealing product, wrestling fans would be WILLING to pay $$$ to Cable/Satellite companies to watch RAW or AEW LIVE as it happens. During the Monday Night Wars, I MADE time to watch both RAW and Nitro. During 2015, the reason I cut my Comcast Cable connection was because WWE Monday Night RAW was declining in quality. If RAW was remotely good at the time, I may have kept my Cable subscription that I could easily afford. Give me a wrestling shows with REAL stars like Rock, Austin, Goldberg, Cena, or a hot angle like the New World Order, I’ll MAKE TIME on Monday Nights to watch 3 hours of wrestling.
I’d tell WWE or AEW to “go ahead and take my money” if they can develop a top drawing star or sell a hot angle. Neither has an infrastructure to develop such a star nor do they have anyone on their Creative Team to present a captivating angle or feud.
STOP making excuses for the LOWER Viewership and start addressing WHY people are either ashamed to admit to being wrestling fans or refuse to become wrestling fans.
Until the WWE or AEW dares to address that “why”, pro wrestling will continue to decline. In 5 years, I don’t know if those big television deals will be there to continue to subsidize their losses.
If AEW can give us more things in the tone of the Cody Rhodes vs. MJF feud, they could be headed in the right direction. Remember, they are just 1 year old as a promotion and their weekly television event is much younger than that. They need patience but they also need better leadership backstage to direct them. Bischoff could be someone sought after for such a leadership role in AEW but many of the Monday Night War relics have yet to prove that they be relevant backstage beyond 2010. Like many of us, we’re not as good as we once were.
So just chill… Until the next episode!
I recently appeared on the Tommy McDougall Podcast which you can listen to by CLICKING HERE.
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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