ASK MR. TITO - WWE Releases for AEW?, Jerry Lawler, Howard Finkel, Money in the Bank, and More

ASK MR. TITO – WWE Releases for AEW?, Jerry Lawler, Howard Finkel, Money in the Bank, and More

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

The EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING is back for a 2nd time this week exclusively at WrestlingHeadlines.com, a LordsofPain.net company. If you’re clicking into this very column expecting multiple questions on Vince McMahon’s moves this week or maybe a “Last Word” rant on Vince, please read my column from 4/17/2020 entitled “MR. TITO STRIKES BACK – The Dastardly Vince McMahon and his WWE Wrestler Releases/Layoffs, XFL Closure, and Politics in Florida. Certainly, I’ll have some follow-up questions, but that column answers many of your questions.

As always with my ASK Tito Columns, you can just to a Ctrl + F to find “ASK MR. TITO – Your Questions, My Answers” to get right to the wrestling content. Otherwise, stick around for my weekly Coronavirus and Economic advice…

So yeah, COVID-19 is proving to be lethal… Just in my opinion, there’s no way something that originated in China could spread so much in the United States since December. Sure, we’re import dependent on China and it could be likely that the virus attached itself on many of our manufactured goods. United States does a fair amount of travel to China as well… But for this to spread so much in the South and the Midwest, this tells me that this virus has been in existence for LONGER than December 2019 and was probably confused with the Flu for a while. COVID-19 spreads quickly, as it can stick to surfaces, travel along surfaces, and be airborne as well. With that said, quarantine yourself from any elderly persons or anyone with pre-existing lung/heart conditions.

But again, as much this is a health risk, the Economic one will prove to be painful as well. In the past 4 weeks, 22 Million people have applied for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Holy cow… The way Unemployment Benefits works is that it’s a “safety net” for when you lose your job to allow you to pay your bills and feed your family as you find another job. If you pay the FICA Taxes per paycheck (6.2% and your employer matches, but they probably technically pay you 6.2% less) and can validate that your termination was not at a fault of your own, you should be able to successfully obtain benefits. After all, you’re paying into the “Federal Insurance Contributions Act” or “FICA” program. It’s technically an insurance program for you when (a) you are unemployed temporarily or (b) you retire to collect Social Security.

DO NOT BE ASHAMED OF COLLECTING THIS RIGHT NOW… You cannot help it that you lost your job AND that jobs are not plentiful right now. Put YOUR tax dollars to work. You paid into the Unemployment Insurance program, so use it. When a bad storm damages your house excessively, what do you do? File an insurance claim to help pay for those damages… After all, why are you paying Home Insurance other than the Bank requiring it? For such a disaster! Same thing with Unemployment Insurance… USE IT. Can you find a job right now? Probably not… Do you have BILLS that need paid or do you need to FEED your family? Hell ya you do… USE it.

Just have patience with your State office who disburses Federal Unemployment Funds… They are abiding by the quarantine, too, and “working from home” isn’t as easy as it seems. Lots of Citrix disconnections and network slowdowns, along with the clunkiness of the home office compared to the real office. “Working from Home” seems luxurious, but for many, the office was an escape where you can show off your professional talents and image to maximize your earnings at a workplace. Much harder to do that at home… Someone will have to look at a system log to determine who is actually doing the work and even that is hard put into context.

Normally, Unemployment Benefits last for 13 weeks or about 3 months… While collecting benefits, you normally have to prove to your local office which employers that you’ve been contacting for another job. However, under these unique times, the Unemployment Benefit timeframe has been extended to 26 weeks or 6 months. Furthermore, those in the “gig economy” or those who work as Independent Contractors, you qualify for that as this time around DESPITE participants not paying FICA taxes. That is quite a deal that is very inclusive and extensive to help people right now.

As glowing as that all sounds, can the United States afford that… Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to conflict with the HUMAN side of things… I just told all of you to NOT be ashamed of collecting benefits… My comment is more towards the Federal Government and pointing a FINGER OF SHAME at it for giving us $23 TRILLION in DEBT before 2020 even started. If you look back to the year 2000, we were about $5 TRILLION in DEBT. The Stimulus Bill, itself, was $2 TRILLION and with extensive Unemployment Benefit collecting, fewer Payroll Taxes being collected due to lost jobs, fewer Income Taxes being paid due to lost jobs, fewer Corporate Taxes being paid as businesses contract… We could seriously see a $4-5 TRILLION DEFICIT piling onto that Debt for Fiscal Year 2020.

If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will… On top of that, the Federal Reserve, as a policy response to this Recession, is just printing money freely and using Open Market Operations to finance that Federal Debt and other bad Bank Debt. The Fed is carrying a Balance Sheet of over $6 Trillion right now. Just look at this graph in this link on how ridiculous things have been for over 10 years now. Growing their balance sheet from $1 Billion and then buying up lots of BAD Bank Debt + Federal Government Debt… That is $6 Trillion and growing of utter made up crap created by fictional made-up money.

This stuff actually gives me nightmares… We were already heavily in DEBT and had so much printed money in circulation thanks to the last Economic Recession, December 2007 to June 2009. Now, we’re trying to do MORE of both excessive policies during this Recession… When is that bar tab going to run out?

It just doesn’t seem like anyone has cared about the Federal Government’s Debt over the past 20 years and that’s sad because we actually had 4 consecutive years of Budget Surpluses happening from 1998-2001 thanks to the hard work of my boy, John Kasich, as chairman of the Budget Committee and a good working relationship before 1998 between Congress and the President that made significant budget reforms… And then Impeachment of Bill Clinton happened. We’ve been contentious ever since and for whatever reason, we’ve been thirsty for military conflicts since and reliant on Government Spending + Cheap Federal Reserve money since despite the growing economies of the 2000s and 2010s possibly not needing that much dependence but it came anyway.

I’m 100% for helping people NOW… Everyone has been unfairly screwed by this pandemic and it’s NO FAULT of people’s own for their job being lost due to a forced quarantine… Get those benefits, please…

But my long-term worry is that the irresponsible Spending and Money Creation policies of the LAST 20 years will prove to be troublesome for the United States and many other countries who have tried the same over-reactionary policies to economic problems that were often self-inflicted.

I laugh right now, because you have companies like Amazon and Kroger trying to praise their employees for working through tough times… Yet, what are these “essential” workers making per hour? Anytime that Kroger employees have their contract expires, it’s nothing but a fight for a slight pay increase. Amazon workers aren’t allowed to speak out about their working conditions or else trouble is coming their way. Sorry, but Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com has a net worth of over $130 BILLION and is gaining a virtual monopoly with the convenient online shopping model that he created. But in order for his 2 Day Shipping Prime model to work, he needs workers in his distribution centers and factories and UPS/FedEx/Postal delivery workers to ship things timely. I believe that Bezos should earn the riches for his idea and ambition, but don’t be a hypocrite and try to praise your workers like heroes when you’ve never thought about paying them like they were ever “essential”.

On top of that, employers are OUTSOURCING everything… It’s one thing if you create Automation that replaces workers here in the States… As technology evolves, that is always bound to happen. But when you ship your jobs to Foreign countries because (a) workers will work for much less per hour – less than $1 often, (b) workers will work more than 8 hours per day, (c) workers don’t require benefits like retirement or health, (d) workers have no workplace safety restrictions, (e) and the country does not have strict environmental laws. Through the mid 1970s, many workers could graduate High School and walk right into a Manufacturing plant to make money building things… Now, you have to run up College Debt just to get a degree that might help you earn a decent living, eventually…

We’ve been running up Debt, Printing Money, and disregarding the American Worker for DECADES now… So when the Government policy makers try to patch things with more Debit, more Printed Money, and patchwork benefits to the American Workers that they’ve been screwing for years…

I don’t know man… It makes me happy to have Pro Wrestling and this Mr. Tito gimmick as an escape from reality!

*****

ASK MR. TITO – Your Questions, My Answers

From this week’s WWE releases, who do you believe that AEW will actually sign?

Rusev, for sure… I’d reconsider pairing him back with Aiden English. Maybe Gallows and Anderson and push them like real men instead of their goofy PG versions we saw in WWE. Obviously the Revival, but they were released a full week before this and weren’t economic releases. I’ve always liked Heath Slater as a talent and talker. Maybe Erick Rowan for his size, but I’d change his look. Shave that damn beard! I’d consider hiring Kurt Angle for a backstage role as an agent or part of creative.

After that… Ehhhh… I think that many of these workers would have to go “find themselves” on the Indy market just as AJ Styles and Cody Rhodes did when they left their longtime wrestling employers.

Sure, the Khans have Billions… But love remaining being Billionaires. They didn’t get rich by overspending on things. Reports are that AEW’s budget is heavily dependent the revised TNT deal which indicates to me that the Khans are keeping the budget tight. And they should… Technically speaking, too, the Khans have all of the leverage in the world against any of these released wrestlers. It’s very likely that many of these wrestlers may be forced to take a discount to join AEW but all of the money in the world won’t make up for “piece of mind”. Working for the WWE, especially when WWE’s Creative Team messes with you, is depressing no matter how much money that you make.

I expect Rusev and the Revival to definitely be in AEW, as both have shown interest in joining that promotion through their Social Media flirtations. The rest depends on what AEW wants to fill their roster during these economic times where you cannot tour for the moment and the Khans are protective of their other business interests.

*****

Why was Howard Finkel removed from television as the ring announcer?

Well, have you seen Lilian Garcia? She’s kinda hot… It’s seriously that simple. She was hired during 1999 and by that year, Finkel was 49 years old. Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn were just coming off the Sable years and they knew that hot chicks drew with their bloodthirsty teenage or college bound Attitude Era audience.

As degrading as that may have been to Finkel, he was still employed by the WWE until the day he died. While Fink may have endured some ridicule along the way, Vince McMahon was very loyal to one of his original Titan Sports employees. As much as we’ve banged on Vince McMahon, he has an inner circle or even a few legacy Vince Sr. guys that he’s shown incredible amounts of loyalty towards and kept them on the WWE payroll.

But yeah, it’s just that simple… Garcia had the pipes, as she was an inspiring singer, and she was beautiful. What she wasn’t, however, was a wrestling fan and that caused her to botch many ring announcements. But, Finkel still got paid and was still used on occasion and we got to enjoy the Rock messing with Garcia often (the “wet” comment).

*****

Could the format of the Money in the Bank match actually work?

Depends on who produces it. From Wrestlemania, I enjoyed the Boneyard Match because it resembled an actual fight and settled a feud. The Funhouse match wasn’t a match… Just a highly produced mindtrip where Bray and Cena were cooperating with each other instead of being opposed to each other like enemies.

Whomever worked on the Boneyard match, I’d have them work on the Money in the Bank match. That simple.

And yes it could work… WWE is in a unique spot where they have to create content but only work in an empty Performance Center. Just try new things. What do you have to lose? Just throw things at the wall, as long as they seem credible in a wrestling aspect, to keep those Comcast and FOX executives happy and to keep Shareholders happy that the WWE is still operating in some fashion. “Content is KING” as Jim Ross always puts it…

*****

Do you think that there will be a political backlash for Vince McMahon regarding Florida?

For voters, possibly… For wrestling fans, no. For wrestling fans, having the WWE becoming an “essential” business to Florida means that we’ll get more WWE content. That’s a win for wrestling fans, even if the empty Performance Center creates very dull settings. Still, would you rather have NO content or something from the WWE? I don’t know about you, but I enjoyed having Wrestlemania 36.

With voters though… I don’t know, man… There are many workers who have lost their jobs due to their jobs not being considered “essential”. Yet, on the same day that the Florida Governor considered the WWE as “essential”, the Tampa and Orlando areas received $18.5 Million from Linda McMahon’s Pro-Trump SuperPAC group. THAT has to boil some blood down there and Florida is a Swing State that Donald Trump MUST win during the 2020 elections.

With wrestling fans, sure, there are some calling for an Off-season… But most just want something familiar to watch on television right now.

One thing, though… The WWE can now do more in Florida than needed without any troubles and when the State fully opens up, they’ll be able to easily transition into Florida arenas probably faster than other sports.

*****

Have you been watching Vice’s Dark Side of the Ring?

Am I a wrestling fan? Of course I have been watching it, as Vice conveniently places each episode on YouTube for us to enjoy (at least I think it is them).

I will say this, though… I was very uncomfortable with the Jimmy Snuka one. Certainly, we have to think about the family of his girlfriend that died 37 years ago. BUT, the anger over Snuka should be about the cover-up rather than just hammering Snuka for what might have happened. Snuka has 4 kids and do you think that they enjoy reliving what their father may have did 37 years ago?

Everything seems to be pointing to a cover-up around the investigation of Nancy Argentino’s death and that should be the focus. The fact is that Jimmy Snuka was having many personal and substance problems throughout the 1980s that many people enabled and ignored. Then, when major legal trouble presented itself, it was “handled” and charges were dropped. It’s always the enablers that often causes someone to get the worst out of themselves.

The Benoit stuff was tough to watch and now more so that I’ve heard Kevin Sullivan‘s side on the Jim Cornette Experience podcast. The New Jack one was just simply crazy… Funny thing about New Jack is that I’ve met the guy in person at an Indy show and he couldn’t be nicer to fans. Sure, we were paying money for autographs and pictures, but I have seen many wrestlers, including legends, mail that it in and not be appreciative that their fans were showering them with love. I saw Kurt Angle at a Comic convention a few years ago and he was mostly staring at his phone, even as fans were talking to him.

I’ve seen some arguments about Dark Side twisting facts, but I think that you need to walk into these as something more to entertain fans outside of the wrestling business.

I also think that Chris Jericho is KILLING IT as the narrator. He should become the permanent voice of this show.

*****

What are your thoughts on what Jerry Lawler said?

In case you missed it, Jerry Lawler called the Moonsault move executed by Tozawa as the “Ramen Noodle Moonsault”. Tozawa was born in Japan, Ramen type foods were originated from Japan but used Chinese based ingredients. Many, via Twitter, were calling for Jerry Lawler to be terminated for this comment.

Was it in bad taste? Yes… It’s something that we’d not even notice 30 years but every single word now is under the politically correct microscope. However, was it “racist” as many accused it? Nah… He didn’t call attention to any physical characteristics of Tozawa and the name “Ramen Noodles” is a food product, which anyone can buy in a grocery store, is not racist. If you said that Mr. Tito was typing his columns from a Saltine Cracker keyboard, I would just look at you funny…

No, Jerry should NOT lose his job… He’s a 70 year old man from a different era who probably can’t keep up on everything that everybody is offended by these days. He might struggle to boot up a computer to download that list. Ooops, there I go with the old person jokes. Should I cease writing columns because I said that? Give me a break… There’s a difference between exploiting stereotypes and being a flat out racist. There are words that Lawler could have said, which I will not repeat, about someone from Japan that could really offend. Instead, he labeled something as a food product that you can buy in a grocery store.

If you get offended by Ramen Noodles, then please cancel your WWE Network because the WWE exploited racial, gender, and ethinic stereotypes for YEARS and made a ton of money off of it.

*****

And now, for my final rant…

THE LAST WORD

Now is the time for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) to take off the gloves and start fighting.

This past week was upsetting to many in the wrestling business and wrestling fans, as multiple people lost their jobs. Sure, the WWE could make an argument that the cuts were necessary to “free up cash” during these economic times, especially since they cannot tour, make appearances, and consumer spending on their products will dry up. But it’s another when you make these cuts after (a) Florida labels you an “essential” business after a $18.5 Million bribe from Linda McMahon and (b) after Vince declared that the XFL would file for bankruptcy and that the bankruptcy filing revealed that WWE money was invested into the XFL. As I wrote in my recent 4/17/2020 column entitled “MR. TITO STRIKES BACK – The Dastardly Vince McMahon and his WWE Wrestler Releases/Layoffs, XFL Closure, and Politics in Florida, the WWE Corporation is essentially a Credit Line for Vince McMahon for all of his non-wrestling ventures.

Just in the last 20 years, the WWE has absorbed the losses on the XFL Football League twice in the tens of millions for each loss, 2 Linda McMahon failed Senate runs totaling $100 Million, the New York City restaurant, many WWE Films investments, the failed WWE Music label, and many Legal battles over wrestler problems, injuries, or copyright issues. On top of all of that, Vince McMahon doesn’t flinch when he can pay wrestlers from the past to work Part-Time schedules for millions more than his Full-Time roster. While there is value in having Brock Lesnar, the Rock, John Cena, the Undertaker, Ronda Rousey, Batista, and Shawn Michaels… It’s tough to swallow when their salaries equal four of yours and you’re working much harder covering Television, Houseshows, and appearances.

Wrestlers are PISSED at the image that the WWE has and yet, there was never a good competitor to join to “stick it” to the WWE. TNA was about the Carters and they royally screwed things up. AEW presents promise because the wrestlers have more freedom than the controlling WWE and somewhat with TNA.

AEW has a tremendous opportunity to EXPOSE what’s wrong with the WWE and they are already proving it with Jon Moxley and Brodie Lee. Both guys were doing goofy things in the WWE and were stuck in midcard hell. Then, when they arrive into AEW, they are allowed to talk freely again and wrestle seriously again. It completely exposes how the WWE Creative Team presents their characters…

Take Scott Hall and Kevin Nash from 1996 when they arrived in WCW. While in the WWE working obviously scripted names like “Diesel” and “Razor Ramon”, they were actually enemies. Diesel worked mostly as a heel, besides his WWE Title run, and Razor worked mostly as a babyface after his initial heel debut. They were NEVER shown on-screen to be buddies (besides the “Curtain Call”) and in fact feuded against each other. Then, when they join WCW working as just themselves, the real guys behind those gimmicks, they are shown as friends. THAT is why the Outsiders got over, folks… They presented what they did in WCW as REAL and what was happening in WWE as FAKE.

Any incoming former WWE talent needs to keep this in mind if they join AEW… Rusev can simply say that the WWE pushed him as a foreign stereotype and had me doing goofy things with my wife, such as making her date Bobby Lashley. He could actually state that “I’m still married to her and what you see on the WWE is fake” and AEW would see no legal challenges to that shoot comment. Why? Because has a damn marriage license to Lana in real life! Furthermore, he could shoot on how the WWE punished him for the TMZ engagement announcement. Hey, if Triple H can shoot on the Curtain Call screwing him, why can’t WWE’s reaction to TMZ be the same thing?

The Revival is the most talented tag team that we’ve seen since the peak periods of the late Attitude Era (Edge/Christian, Hardys, Dudleys) and early Ruthless Aggression Era (Guerreros, Angle/Benoit, Haas/Benjamin, Edge/Mysterio). They could just state facts that the WWE Creative team scripted them to look stupid… Here in AEW, however, they have the freedom to compete for the company’s top Tag Team prize. What you’re seeing in AEW is real and what’s happening in WWE is fake. Hell, we can’t even use our names in AEW because our phony names are trademarked by the WWE!

Take off the gloves and punch, AEW… Expose the WWE for the miserable workplace and scripted pile of crap that it is right now!

But if you go soft on us, that lead that NXT is now showing against you could start growing… And the opportunity will be lost.

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:

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
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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