ASK MR. TITO - WWE 2nd Quarter Financials, Matt Cordona (Zack Ryder) in AEW, Kairi Sane, Nia Jax, Adam Cole/Pat McAfee, and Much More

ASK MR. TITO – WWE 2nd Quarter Financials, Matt Cordona (Zack Ryder) in AEW, Kairi Sane, Nia Jax, Adam Cole/Pat McAfee, and Much More

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter by going to the following link: @titowrestling

Thank you, once again, for checking out my weekly “Ask Mr. Tito” here at
WrestlingHeadlines.com, a LordsofPain.net company. And thank you for tuning in to my columns here at this website for over 21 years now. I have spent over half of my life as a member of the LoP/WH family and I have appreciated holding the big megaphone to spread the gospel of my opinions on pro wrestling.

It’s worth your time to check out the “Last Word” section to see where I’m headed for the rest of 2020 and the immediate future.

May I just LAUGH at something before we get started with your questions? All Elite Wrestling (AEW) fans and their HOT 18-49 Demographic. Hey, can anyone point to me during the Monday Night Wars of the 1990s when that demographic mattered? Like did Eric Bischoff or Vince McMahon stress about that specific demographic? Of course, they didn’t have to worry about that demo back then because the Median Age back then was in the low 30s compared to the low 50s like it is now…

Last week’s AEW Dynamite show drew a 0.32 rating within that 18-49. Of course, if you knew a certain newsletter, you’d hear “Celebration” playing in the background with champagne bottles being uncorked.

However, if you do the math, you’d be a tad worried… For one, 0.32 rating is very low… Problem is that no younger people are watching Cable/Satellite TV right now. Thus, the viewership is always going to skew older. When AEW tries to brag that it was 6th place in this Demographic for the night, it’s not off by much. Nothing is getting above 1.0 on Wednesday nights on that demographic. In fact, not even above 0.5.

But what does a 0.32 mean? Using ratio analysis from a ratings report that I found that had both the rating AND the viewership # handy, I found that a 0.40 Rating = 461,000 viewers, roughly. So basically, if you do the math of 0.32 / X = 0.40 / 461,000 and solve for “X”, you’ll find 368,800 viewers.

So roughly 370,000 viewers… And that was on a “GOOD” night, as they previously received 0.28 and 0.29 ratings on previous nights.

Just saying, when you have a hidden agenda to promote your friends from your local California Indy promotions, friends from New Japan Pro Wrestling, or one of your financial guys now works for AEW… You’re going to make every excuse possible as to why AEW cannot get above 800,000 viewers consistently on a TNT Network that is available in 85 million households.

Look, I’m willing to recognize that AEW is still a start-up promotion and realize that they seriously require 3 years just become a fully competitive company. But quit lowering the bar so low for them now and making excuses. This 18-49 demo stuff is non-sense, considering the older half of that demo carries the numbers and AEW is still THICK with 50+ year old men watching their shows. Congrats on having more younger viewers than WWE’s 3rd banana show.

We don’t need excuses for AEW… We need press that will hold their feet to the fire and hold them accountable for any early mistakes. Everyone has a bias now out of fear that they’ll lose subscribers or maybe upset a wrestler that they won’t give them any news coverage as a source. Or worse yet, accidentally saying something politically incorrect. You know, when you allude to something surgical with a wrestler and then apologize profusely about it. Hey, could someone name a columnist who DEFENDED you on that issue? Oh yeah, that’s me Dave.

Both WWE and AEW need the Internet Wrestling Community and their Media outlets to hold those companies accountable for their POOR PERFORMANCE during this Pandemic. They have everybody quarantined and forced to be inside during the weekdays and against hardly any sports… Yet both promotions lost hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Come on, guys… I’m only one person… I feel like I’m the only one speaking about Current Events and holding promotions accountable with a critical eye. That’s why wrestlers occasionally get mad with things that I say… Sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes getting uncomfortable can channel something within a wrestler.

But being an enabler is the WORST thing to do. Just look at the WWE right now… Everybody from Triple H (son in law) to Stephanie (daughter) to Michael PS Hayes (kiss up to HHH/Stephanie) to Kevin Dunn (best friend) to Shane (son) are complete enablers to Vince McMahon. The end result? Nobody stands up to him at production meetings to improve things. Two of the men who consistently made Vince uncomfortable were Jim Ross and Vince Russo. Ross spoke his mind openly and always caused friction with Vince. Russo was openly critical of the WWE product to land him his creative job and then was critical to Vince’s face at creative meetings to force a change in the direction. Nobody is like that now… All enablers.

Right now in AEW, Tony Khan has let Brandi Rhodes and Kenny Omega run the Women’s division while the Young Bucks operate the Tag Division. The end result is either a wildly inconsistent or underwhelming midcard. FTR walks in as the hottest free agents on the market and they are instantly “just another team”. When your management structure consists of a Money Mark and 4 wrestler EVPs who are friends with each other, there’s nothing but enabling occurring during the early tenure of AEW. Things are made worse when the wrestling media puts on the kid gloves and handles AEW so gently…

But not me… The beauty of working for FREE is that there are no strings attached to me and I can just say what I want… No bias.

On to your questions.

What is your origin story for Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net?

I’ve told it many times, but here it is in short… During the mid-1990s, I became fascinated with the Internet when my cousin showed me how to obtain Mortal Kombat 3 cheat codes for the Super Nintendo. My mind was blown when I saw that information readily available. From that day forward, I was hooked on the Internet and made sure to visit my local Library often and also sneak into a local University’s computer lab as a high schooler to get my online fix. Eventually, I started looking up Wrestling News online via searches using Yahoo!. Somehow during 1998, I stumpled upon LordsofPain.net operated by “Pain Lord” and “Hollywood G”. It became my primary site because it was LOADED with wrestling news with a massive newsboard at the time.

I used to smash the Refresh button when on LordsofPain.net and one day, “Daily Columnist – Job Opening” surfaced. I immediately applied and got the job on the spot. I guess my qualifications were to be nuts enough to write daily? And so I did and hardly took any days off from 1998-2002 until I shifted more towards a 1-2 columns week kind of guy. I adopted the name “Tito” because I used that in chatrooms (remember those?) as an alias and I obtained that from Vh1’s Jackson Family story about the Jackson 5/Michael Jackson. I guess that I was amused by Joe Jackson telling his son Tito Jackson to “get a switch”. I just added the “Mr.” to make it seem more professional.

I wrote from October 1998 through mid 2006 (to get married, start a family, etc). Made a comeback during early 2010 with non-wrestling blogs that turned into wrestling blogs… After a bunch of kids firebombed that blog section of the page, I briefly stepped back during 2012 only to start writing weekly again until October 2018 when I thought that I was going to retire, as I was fed up with the WWE at the time. Then, AEW arrives and soon thereafter during 2019, I started writing more and more by the week… During the start of 2020, I decided to write weekend chill “Ask Tito” columns which really rejuvenated me as a wrestling fan and especially as a writer.

There you go… My 21 years as Mr. Tito in just 3 paragraphs.

*****

What are your thoughts on Matt Cordona (Zack Ryder) joining AEW?

I’m happy for him, of course… Anytime that a wrestler finds work and continues to earn a living that way, that’s good. Now, is having him team up with Cody to wrestle the Dark Order a good way to debut? Probably not, but I’m sure that he’ll do something with Cody whether that is teaming with him regularly or turning on him (or being turned on).

My advice for Matt… Hide all of your childish stuff. For all we know, you DON’T have pro wrestling action figures and you HATE video games. What you need to establish is that the WWE didn’t care about you and thus you didn’t care about yourself… However in AEW, you’re taking this job seriously and am going to push your athletic ability to its limits.

In the WWE, he just seemed like a big kid with the flashy colors, the made up Internet belt, getting too friendly on Social Media with friends, and openly advertising his toy and video game collections. Come on, man… You need to appear as someone “LARGER THAN LIFE” and something that is the opposite of who your fans are. Sell yourself as an elite athlete and someone that nobody in this world could possibly emulate if they tried. Don’t be Zack Ryder Lite in AEW, for sure.

*****

Any thoughts on Kairi Sane’s WWE departure?

Yeah, we’ll see, with time, whether or not that translates to really going home to Japan or resurfacing with AEW. We’ve seen this trick before in pro wrestling.

Kairi Sane’s character wasn’t going anywhere in AEW other than being a sidekick to Asuka. And in my opinion, that’s the best that we could get out of her. It’s a continued lesson of wrestlers who are mostly good on high impact moves but struggle to understand the simple concept of “less is more” in a pro wrestling ring. She needs more psychology in that ring and that way she doesn’t have to do as many high risk stuff.

It goes into continued question on how the WWE uses Japanese wrestlers. Women have seen more success, obviously, but I’d suggest that was due to Asuka just being that damn good and charismatic to fit the WWE mold better.

I wish her the best… But if she suddenly appears in an American promotion soon, I hope that she realizes why she didn’t make it in another American company.

*****

What are your thoughts on the WWE’s 2nd Quarter Financials Report?

I don’t need to listen to Vince McMahon’s conference call or hear it from another third party… I’ll go directly to the WWE’s publicly offered financials myself to develop my own analysis. Here are the highlights of this report, in my opinion:

(A) While ticket sales are a smaller part of the pie now, they still matter because they help push merchandise sales. THAT SAID, during a Recession and with no Live Event contributions, WWE merchandise sold well online during the 2nd quarter 2020 versus how it did during the same timeframe 2019. That’s good news, actually…

(B) TV Revenues are flat? 2nd Quarter WWE television revenues were $200 Million during the 2nd Quarter 2020 versus $197 Million during 2019. For the year, the WWE’s Media revenues are much higher at $456.7 Million so far versus $332.4 Million last year… Could that be lost revenues from Wrestlemania in some form?

(C) WWE Network revenues are down slightly for the quarter… I’d take that. People are losing incomes left and right and WWE Network is still bringing in almost $100 million for the year. Earlier today, WWE announced that the tiered program was off and that was probably as a result of not wanting to rock this apple cart of revenues. All things considered, the WWE Network is proving to be a remarkable decision for the WWE since 2014 (even though they gave up on that Pay Per View cash cow).

(D) Advertising and Sponsorship revenues were down during 2nd quarter versus 1st quarter. Again, it’s that lost Wrestlemania weekend + other businesses being tapped out themselves.

On paper, the WWE is well run with low costs and consistent revenue streams EVEN WHEN live events and merchandise keep declining. Without Live Events and other line items, however, it makes the WWE extremely dependent on those TV Deals to survive.

Hence why Vince McMahon did nothing but blame COVID-19 for WWE’s viewership problems… He’s doing everything he can to “butter up” Comcast and FOX from screwing him on those deals. However, if those Executives were to just look at the WWE’s performance BEFORE COVID-19…

*****

Are you excited for Nia Jax’s return to the WWE?

Oh absolutely, I am excited to see other professionals getting injured inside the ring.

Sigh… I’ve already discussed this one, as she needs straightened out in Developmental just as Big Show and Mark Henry needed during late 2000 I believe.

Nia has to be the weakest heavyweight that I’ve ever seen. One would figure that she’d be overwhelmingly stronger than the 120 females that she mostly works with yet she struggles to lift them.

So whatever… And as someone once told me, the professional inside her cousin, the Rock, would agree that she needs more training and a better attitude about the business.

*****

1 Week Later, do you still believe that Adam Cole’s incident on the Pat McAfee Show was a work or a shoot?

Do I think that business can be made following the Adam Cole blow-up on Pat McAfee’s show? Yes… But was it a work initially? Of course not.

For this to be a work FROM THE START, you need a SMART WWE Creative Team and a willing Pat McAfee Show to participate in a wrestling angle. We KNOW that the WWE Creative Team isn’t smart enough to create an angle like this. How can everyone in the Internet Wrestling Community be slamming WWE Creative for DECADES now and then claim that this Adam Cole incident was a “clever work”. Are you really that obtuse?

Then, do you really believe that Pat McAfee wants to sacrifice the credibility of his sports talk show in order to satisfy a wrestling angle? Come on… His show has to book guests and many in the sports world do not want any association with Pro Wrestling. I’m aware that Pat has attended a few NXT Takeovers as a guest announcer and he also talks about wrestling on his show BUT participating in a wrestling angle is much different.

Additionally, squeaky clean WWE Corporate would not allow such language to be representative by a WWE employee on a public forum? Come on…

Triple H himself reached out to Pat and Adam Cole was forced to post a public relations statement on the incident. That clean-up work…

Now, could this TURN into a work… Of course… Millions of eyeballs have seen Adam Cole snap at Pat McAfee. WWE/NXT will run with this and they should… Adam Cole needed a spark after losing the NXT Title. But I would suspect that Pat is done with his part in all of this because he has bigger fish to fry (continually growing his show).

Adam Cole isn’t that good of an actor… He CLEARLY snapped when Pat remarked on his size which is playing in his head lately as he considers a main WWE roster promotion or potentially joining another promotion.

NOT a work… Don’t give the WWE Creative Team credit, folks… They can’t create regular feuds on television let alone pulling off publicity stunts. Come on.

*****

What do you think WWE Hall of Famer Donald Trump’s chances are to retain the Presidency of the United States?

In this day and age, things can change very quickly… The fact is that Joe Biden has remained quiet in order to let Donald Trump handle large platefuls of crap in the form of COVID-19, the Recession, relations with China, and Trump’s general need to always feel loved and adored. If the bad news from these incidents keep piling on, then Joe Biden will coast to becoming President. However – If something were to improve, as the 3rd Quarter 2020 numbers will arrive during October 2020 or a promise of a vaccine ramps up, things could interesting.

Many suggest that Trump is just “waiting for the Debates” to defeat Biden… I don’t know about that one, folks. Yes, it does seem that Biden is quickly becoming elderly and will likely just be a 1 term President before retiring, but don’t sell Biden short on debating. Ask Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan who were destroyed by Joe in debates. On any given night, Biden could be “on his game” and give Trump trouble. That or he could just let Trump talk and just calmly stand there…

Biden gives Trump problems because of the Electoral College… I believe that Donald Trump was counting on Bernie Sanders to win so that he could just rip Bernie for being a socialist. Biden, however, will pull in many older moderates that Hillary lost during 2016 in the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. I also foresee the Republican Party having an image problem lately in the states of Arizona and Georgia, somewhat in Florida. If the GOP were to lose Georgia, which has been consistent for them, Biden easily wins. If Trump were to lose any of the states mentioned in this paragraph, he’d have to hope for some kind of uprising in a state like Virginia which Republicans have recently lost (2nd Amendment fight there).

I’d probably place odds at 60/40 for Biden winning this based on the Electoral College not working out as well for Trump this time around…

The other X-Factor is who Joe Biden picks as a Vice President candidate. I believe he has to pick someone with serious experience because there is that fear that he might not last 4 years and if he does, he won’t run during 2024… Thus, that VP pick will be important because he or she (likely a she) will become the next President. I believe that if Biden rolls the dice on an unknown with little experience, he’s in trouble. He should pick a Senator or a Governor as his tag team partner to ensure victory. Biden can always place unknowns in his cabinet if needed.

*****

And now, for my final rant…

THE LAST WORD

And this may be my “Last Word” here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com

First and foremost, this is NOT a retirement column. Far from it, actually… Thanks to All Elite Wrestling (AEW)‘s arrival as an alternative and rival to the WWE, it has made following Pro Wrestling content fun again. I was seriously about to walk away from everything as a wrestling fan and as Mr. Tito during late 2018 until a bunch of wrestlers took it upon themselves to create a new promotion with serious money backing it and a strong television deal. Slowly but surely during 2019, I found my mojo again as a writer and then for 2020, my “Ask Mr. Tito” weekend columns have really rejuvenated me as a writer again.

So again, this is NOT a retirement column.

What this is, however, and I speak this with a heavy heart because LordsofPain.net has been a part of me and my life since October 1998… In fact, more than half of my life. I’m sad to say that this is my final column that I’m going to write for this website or at least for now.

I’m stepping away from WrestlingHeadlines.com/LordsofPain.net and effective with this 7/31 column, I’m going to try something new for the rest of 2020 and onward. Where and when that will be? That’s inappropriate to plug in this column and on this website… You know where to find me as needed.

I want to stress that this is MY CHOICE to leave. Calvin Martin has ALWAYS had my back as a columnist through the many controversial columns that I’ve posted, letting me write again after my brief mid-2006 to 2009 retirement, and given me the ability to start special projects for LoP like creating the Columns Forum farm system for writers or trying to restart the YouTube channel. He’s a great webmaster and has given me absolute freedom to write whatever and whenever I want. When I gave Calvin my potential notice during early July 2020, he wanted to know what it would take to help me stay. Super nice guy, as I wish him the absolute best and hope that we can remain friends.

For 2020, as I look at the world around ourselves, we’re seeing “winds of change”. I’ve been with WH/LoP for over 21 years exclusively (though I helped out Top-Rope as well) and I’ve never sought where else could I take my unique presentation and opinions on pro wrestling. I’ve stayed loyal to a dear friend for over 2 decades and part of my late 2018 retirement was to remain loyal to him as I was too burned out to go elsewhere that year. I had a few offers thrown my way during 2017-2018 and really was inspired by what one place was doing, but I opted to retire and stay loyal through July 2020. I’d like to try to spread my wings for the rest of 2020 and onward to challenge myself. I worry that I’ve hit a plateau at WrestlingHeadlines.com/LordsofPain.net as a columnist and that maybe after 20+ years, everyone here might be tired of my voice.

As I thought about this decision during early July 2020, I came to the conclusion that my exit would improve WrestlingHeadlines.com/LordsofPain.net in the longrun. In case you haven’t noticed, there are times when you see nothing but Mr. Tito columns within the “Columns” section of the website. Earlier during July, there was a point where 7 out of 10 columns recently posted were mine and of those 3 other columns, only 1 dealt with Current Events. As I’ve watched the structure of the website change, the Columns section keeps getting pushed further and further down the site’s design. Obviously, I would want my columns to be featured, but that’s not going to happen if that Column section, as a whole, isn’t drawing interest as a collective for better placement.

Sometimes, you need to purge a Bret Hart in order for guys like the Rock, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, and Triple H to take bigger bites of the apple. Either WH/LoP can reconfigure the Columns section of the page or put the “pedal to the metal” for pushing News and Results stronger than ever. After all, the website is called “Wrestling Headlines”. It could be just a situation like during Mid 2006 through 2009 when I actually retired for a while and that causes many writers to step up in my absence. During 2006-2009, guys like Davey Boy, Hustle, Chrisss, and Doc really stepped up and made a name for themselves as content providers. If that same situation were to happen again, writers HAVE to speak about Current Events and write primarily about WWE/AEW. No more fringe promotions or reviewing past events. Stick to what puts eyeballs on your postings.

I’m sorry if I’m letting anyone down by making this exit and moving on elsewhere. I just feel that I’ve taken this column as far as I can here and would like to see if I could succeed elsewhere. If I fail, then it proves that I’m just a “system quarterback” here at LoP the entire time. If I succeed, however, then it simply proves that 21+ years of experience at WrestlingHeadlines.com/LordsofPain.net allowed me to perform at a high level elsewhere. It’s 2020, an inflection point for our society as the winds of change are blowing…

I gave you everything that I had and at a personal cost at times, insomnia especially with some caffeine induced heart problems. I approximate that I have written over 3,000 columns for LordsofPain.net and I did this 100% on a voluntary basis. My choice on that latter point, as it’s a hobby for me and I’m not leaving for any money offers… I tried to write with courage and conviction each and every time. The fact that I could get wrestlers to notice and either praise or disagree with me showed how effective my style and work ethic were.

BIG THANK YOU to Calvin Martin, the owner and operator of this fine WrestlingHeadlines.com/LordsofPain.net. For any Columnists who remain with WH/LoP or any future columnists… Appreciate this man, please… He’ll give you the absolute freedom to write whatever you want… Just write at least once per week, please, and TRY to do something on Current Events with relevant promotions (AEW, WWE). That’s my secret, folks… I consistently wrote weekly and I covered Current Events. I’m gone now and it’s up to someone else to cover the opinionated sections in written form. Sorry, but there are fewer people in the written field than the Podcast world now. There’s a bigger opportunity to stand out with the written word than in the sea of Podcast choices out there.

SPECIAL THANK YOU to my many, many readers out there. I tried my hardest to entertain you each and every week with unique columns for you to read. Many of you have been with me since the late 1990s and that’s amazing. We grew up together! In addition to hoping that you follow my future work, I STRONGLY recommend that you stick around for WrestlingHeadlines.com/LordsofPain.net and continue to give those websites a chance. You can bookmark and follow us all… And hell, with the many conversations that we’ve had over the years, WHY NOT try to apply to write for WrestlingHeadlines.com/LordsofPain.net? You’ve seen my columns for years and you should know what works.

So yeah, I’m doing this… I’m officially leaving WrestlingHeadlines.com/LordsofPain.net and shall try my hand elsewhere with my Tito brand of written columns.

It has been a pleasure writing for this website and serving the many readers. You can always follow me on Twitter at @titowrestling for any wrestling discussions, as I usually try to answer all Tweets to the best of my ability.

For now, I am signing off from WrestlingHeadlines.com/LordsofPain.net and consider it a privilege to have written for this website and to serve the many readers out there. I tried my absolute best to please you and I shall do my best in my new endeavors!

THANK YOU! And God bless!

So just chill… Until the next episode?

Comments and feedback are welcome. Follow and Tweet me @titowrestling or login in below to post comments.

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Play my Super Mario Maker 2 courses on the Nintendo Switch:

Timecop: V1W-W9W-8RF
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
Coronavirus: N7L-1LP-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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