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Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. I always like that phrase because I know that it makes certain individuals’ blood boil. Actually, it’s a take on conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s “excellence in broadcasting” which is probably why it irritates many. You know, when you live your life based on your politics, gimmicks like that that will bother you. Just as if you take your own wrestling opinions seriously, me flashing swagger like “excellence in column writing” or “I told you so” will irritate you. Remember, this is just a wrestling column written by a guy who calls himself “Tito” as named after a Jackson 5 band member. Seriously.
What amuses me lately is how I can go to ANY Message Board, check out #WWE hashtag discussions on Twitter, see any Facebook wrestling discussion and it’s MOSTLY bashing the quality of the WWE lately. Everyone is hating on the WWE right now and things are even louder when many think that they’ve found a legit alternative in New Japan Pro Wrestling. It takes these mind-blowing Wrestle Kingdom shows for several to hop on that bandwagon and forget that WWE even exists.
Anyway, my point is that many are bashing the WWE hard online right now even many other columnists… But why am *I*, the guy who calls himself Mr. Tito, getting ripped for being “too negative on the WWE”? Huh? Everyone else is bashing the WWE, why can’t I? Other columnists are trashing the WWE right now, why can’t I?
I think that it’s VERY simple to comprehend… And I figured this out when I attended a WWE televised show during the early 2000s. Wrestler Colt Cabana had a tryout spot in a dark match and there was this younger kid who must have been a fan of his Indy work. However, he was against a WWE regular and WWE wrestler beat Cabana in that dark match. This kid went NUCLEAR as he felt Cabana was the greatest wrestler on the Indy circuit and that the WWE was overlooking him by making him lose. This kid was besides himself.
Most people bash the WWE for its Creative Team. I certainly do that as well but I place some accountability on the wrestlers as well. If you’re a wrestler and you just nod your head like a yes-man and not incorporate your own talents into a gimmick/storyline given to you, that is the wrestler’s fault. However, I also use simple logic like weight advantages with wrestlers. For example, the early bookings had Finn Balor vs. Brock Lesnar reportedly at the Royal Rumble 2018. Creative Team changed their mind (or Vince) but I was in 100% agreement with the WWE on that. How credible is it that a 190 pound Finn Balor could even hurt a bulldozer like Brock Lesnar who is 250+ pounds? Oh, and Brock Lesnar has run over big name wrestlers and was just a former UFC Champion… How am I to believe that a tiny guy like Finn Balor could even hurt Lesnar? If Lesnar can defeat Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman in LESS than 10 minutes, how could Balor last more than 2 minutes? Seriously.
Or when I simply ponder of Shinsuke Nakamura just isn’t a good fit with the WWE because of his stiffer style of wrestling that New Japan let him do. Or why I’m not as excited about NXT for the amount of smaller Indy talent that it has acquired lately.
It’s simple, folks… I’m not enamored with the Indy or New Japan darlings like the rest of the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC). I’m not THAT crazy about guys like Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, or even a past Ring of Honor great like Kevin Owens. Personally, I believe that Kevin Owens has the in-ring talent and promo cutting ability to be relevant in the WWE… But when I suggest that his LOOK presents him as a guy for a YMCA pick-up game of basketball as opposed to being portrayed as performing in a combat sport… The IWC loses their mind!
See, I can not only see the WWE’s forest for the trees… But I’m also not attached to wrestlers seen in other promotions. Therefore, my expectations are low for any incoming wrestlers AND I 100% believe in the process of starting as a lower midcarder, getting over as a midcarder, start to chase the midcard title, win the midcard title when the moment is right, and if that said wrestler draws as a midcard champion… That’s when you begin to consider a Main Event push. Start low there and see reactions when working with top guys. If he starts to get over, then start having him climb the ladder against each contender. If matches look great and reactions get stronger, start to consider whether a title push is right or not. Start to chase the title and when the moment is absolutely right, win the World Title. It’s so simple that a Caveman should be able to do it… Just watch the WWE Network to see how this formula is repeatedly done.
Yet, the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) expected Shinsuke Nakamura to be pushed HARD from day one. Well, he can’t wrestle the WWE style of not kicking the crap out of his opponents and he has a language barrier to overcome in a promo heavy promotion. What do you want? Do you want the same approach that Kevin Owens had to defeat John Cena on DAY ONE? Can someone tell me if instantly beating John Cena has helped Kevin Owens become the absolute biggest star in the WWE? And again, as much as the internet BASHES Roman Reigns for being pushed to fast to the Main Event scene, they are hypocrites in how they desire their precious Indy or New Japan darlings to be pushed. The SAME THING that you rip Reigns for creatively is what you desire for your darlings. It is hilarious to observe.
But of course, I go against your grain to say that Finn Balor is too small to wrestle heavyweight-like wrestlers, Shinsuke Nakamura just isn’t working in the WWE, or that Kevin Owens needs to change up his look. That’s why you get pissed at me and when I laugh when the WWE buries your precious Balor with the “Walking Glass Ceiling” Kane, you get pissed.
Funny thing is that we have a lot in common… We agree that the WWE Creative Team has become bankrupt on ideas or that Vince McMahon has become out-of-touch… However, where we don’t agree is on the wrestlers who should be pushed instead of the WWE’s hand picked guys.
Let me tell you the wrestlers that I think should be pushed… I’ll be 100% open about this. Braun Strowman, to me, is the biggest potential star that the WWE has on the roster. He looks “Larger than Life” and wrestles and acts like it. Guy wrestles like a hoss but is very athletic to take bumps. I could see him filling the shoes of the Undertaker although I see more potential in him as a tough babyface that could draw. I think highly of Jason Jordan but I hate his “Kurt Angle’s son” gimmick. He’s a BEAST in the ring as reminds me of a larger version of Shelton Benjamin but more power moves. If the WWE could push the passion he showed when he won his first NXT Tag Titles, that guy could get seriously over. I still like Apollo Crews… When I attended a houseshow last year, younger kids loved the guy. He’s been poorly developed in both NXT and WWE to become a drawing superstar. He’s an amazing athlete and can do Cruiserweight like moves despite him looking like a linebacker. Luke Harper has been completely wasted with this tag team recently. Go back to early 2017 when he pushed Randy Orton to his one of his best matches ever. I like what I see with Elias so far… Great gimmick, good personality, solid in-ring talent. I think that the Miz‘s 2016-2017 work “corrected” what was broken since 2011. He would be my Ric Flair type heel. Sami Zayn is a great in-ring worker but he’s never allowed to be anything but enhancement talent. Finally, Cesaro would be a Main Eventer on my watch. Amazing in-ring talent and he has more of a personality than he’s given credit for. He’s more charismatic than WWE thinks as well.
That’s who I think should be the talent considered for upwards pushes. They have the size, look, athletic ability, and other forms of upside to create a nice stable of talent for the WWE.
You’re more than welcome to disagree with me on the “top potential WWE stars”, but I’ll repeatedly tell you why I disagree with you until I’m blue in the face. I really don’t understand the Finn Balor love when all of his opponents in the WWE have size and weight advantages over him. What is so embarrassing about him working for 205 Live? Yes, I’m aware of how BAD that show is with its airing after Smackdown, but why not have star power on that show? What’s so wrong with having Weight Classes in the WWE? If all of you are telling me that New Japan is soooooooo great, well, consider that it has different belts for different weight classes. Works for Boxing and UFC as well. Weight IS an advantage in combat fighting. Weight translates into strengh which can pin smaller wrestlers or hit smaller wrestlers hard. Smaller wrestlers cannot execute certain moves on larger wrestlers and their punches won’t hurt as much… Bigger guys can absorb anything that smaller fighters try. Why not incorporate and honor Weight Classes with the WWE? It’s not only logical, but science.
And by the way, I’m NOT trolling you with any of my criticisms of your favorite wrestlers. Any opinion that I place in Mr. Tito Strikes Back… Excuse me, any opinion that I place in the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING is something that I am 100% behind. No trolling… Certainly, I like to brag on opinions where I’m right… But I’m just a cocky guy. So what? Much of my generation grew up in the 1990s here in the Midwest/Northeast where everybody busted each others’ chops. Much of you younger folks get offended at any form of swagger or smacktalk. That, or certain words used… I’ve been writing this column since October 1998 and I’m not going to change for you. Don’t like it, well, you know where the door is.
Let’s talk some Pro Wrestling and by that, I mean some WWE stuff.
We’ll go BIG, too, with discussing Wrestlemania 34. How about that?
So far from the early reports that we’ve seen, the following matches seem likely:
– Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (100% likely)
– John Cena vs. Undertaker (50% likely, depends on Taker)
– Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair (50% likely, as Rousey may wrestle someone else)
– Daniel Bryan vs. Shane McMahon (10% likely, might be a tag match instead)
The bigger question for Wrestlemania 34 is WHO will win the 2018 Royal Rumble 30 man battle royal match? From the news reports that I’ve read, it’s likely that a Smackdown guy wins the Royal Rumble as Roman Reigns will win a shot through “other means”. Very likely that the WWE doesn’t want the Philadelphia crowd booing Roman like they did during 2015. Therefore, the Rumble winner will either be from Smackdown or be a RAW wrestler who decides to chase the other brand’s World Title. You know, how Chris Benoit joined the RAW roster during 2004 after he was a Smackdown wrestler who won the 2004 Royal Rumble. That’s possible…
All depends on IF the Undertaker vs. John Cena match is happening or not. That’s the key… If Undertaker won’t wrestle or is unable to wreslte, then I believe that John Cena is very likely to win the Royal Rumble. That could set-up AJ Styles vs. John Cena at Wrestlemania, for example… If Undertaker vs. John Cena is happening… Could the Undertaker quickly win the WWE Title somehow? Or with the WWE actually have Shinsuke Nakamura win the Rumble as a surprise and set-up Nakamura vs. AJ Styles? I’m not sure on that match because I’m not sure what happens with Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles. Why? Go back to 1998 when Kane and Undertaker beat Steve Austin for the WWE Title in a handicap match? That vacated the title to set up the Survivor Series 1998 WWE Title Tournament. That Owens/Zayn vs. Styles match is such a wildcard.
I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Braun Strowman enters the Royal Rumble match following his Triple Threat Loss and wins the Royal Rumble spot. Knowing that he cannot beat Lesnar, he bolts to Smackdown to challenge for its WWE Title. I would be fine with AJ Styles vs. Braun Strowman at Wrestlemania 34…
All depends on IF Undertaker vs. John Cena happens at Wrestlemania 34.
For the record, I’m 100% behind that match. I WANT that match! You know what I’m hearing from the same Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) described above?
“Why are these part-timers wrestling?”
“Undertaker is too old!”
YET, this time last year, the same IWC members were PISSED that John Cena vs. Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33 was changed to Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker instead. Remember that? Because I sure as hell do. You, like me, were FURIOUS that Roman took Cena’s spot and that John Cena would be placed in the goofy mixed tag match with the Miz.
Then, you watched that Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33 match… Now, you want no part of the Undertaker and his old hip injury. Also, you’re disgusted that John Cena has become part-time.
HOWEVER, I’m here to tell you that YES, the Undertaker is an old man (he will be 53 years old at Wrestlemania 34!). But to blame that Wrestlemania 33 match fully on the Undertaker is unfair. What about his opponent Roman Reigns? Where is the blame for that guy? I recall during 2015, the Undertaker looked pretty good against Brock Lesnar during 2 matches and looked perfectly fine against Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania 32. While you want to suggest that Undertaker was wrestling with a bad hip, I’d argue that he was coming off multiple injuries sustained during the Wrestlemania 27 and 28 matches with Triple H. Also, the Shield hurt the Undertaker with that powerbomb through the table… Did that affect CM Punk when he pushed the Undertaker to an AMAZING match-up at Wrestlemania 29?
See, folks, wrestlers like Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 33 and even Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania 31 wrestled incorrectly against the Undertaker. Taker is an older guy and he’s not one to take many bumps at his older age. Both Bray and Roman tried to get physical with the Undertaker and the result was either resistance from him or pooly executed moves (Roman, especially, like that botched lift). Undertaker is older and has injuries mounted up… Thus, trying to slam him or cause him to repeatedly get up from the ground won’t fly. Why CM Punk was so effective during Wrestlemania 29 is because CM Punk did nothing but bump and strike the Undertaker. Anything that Undertaker did to Punk, he bounced around the ring like it killed him. Punk’s offense consisted of a lot of punching and kicking strikes that helped keep Undertaker on his feet. Thus, the Undertaker could remain active in the match by the way CM Punk treated him. Brock Lesnar got physical with the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 30 yet during his two 2015 matches, Lesnar changed his style and bumped for the Taker. The result? 2 great matches.
If John Cena vs. Undertaker happens at Wrestlemania 34, I believe that Cena will BUMP LIKE A CHAMP for the Undertaker. You will see a very similar match to CM Punk’s Wrestlemania 29 efforts and the match will look fine. I believe that John Cena will help ensure that Undertaker looks stronger in this match than his Wrestlemania 33 effort against Reigns. Cena will bump like crazy for the Undertaker not just out of respect, but to probably show-up Roman Reigns. I believe that Cena has some issues with the WWE right now based on his weak WWE Title reign and losing to Roman Reigns last year… To deliver an amazing match with the Undertaker will increase the WWE’s demand to improve the use of John Cena even at a part-time level. After all, if Brock Lesnar can be a part-time World Champion, why not John Cena? Why not?
For me, I’m EXCITED that John Cena vs. Undertaker @ Wrestlemania 34 could be happening. It’s a BIG EVENT “dream match”. I believe that they’ve wrestled before when Cena was still a midcarder during 2003, but now both guys are Main Eventers. Why wouldn’t you want to see this match? The damn Wrestlemania 34 show will be 5 hours long. Your Indy/New Japan darlings will still have a chance to earn a spot on this long show, IWC.
It’s a match that NEVER happened before when both guys have been Main Eventers… So thus, it’s finally happened.
AND as I said, all of you were screaming at the WWE Creative Team for cancelling the Cena vs. Taker match JUST LAST YEAR.
But you’re letting a POOR performance by Roman Reigns OR maybe how WWE Creative told both Reigns/Undertaker to work cause you to crap on the 2018 match-up of Cena vs. Undertaker. REMEMBER, the WWE booked the 2017 No Mercy match of John Cena vs. Roman Reigns to have Roman dominate the match and kickout of any move that John Cena executed. The same thing could have happened at Wrestlemania 33 when Vince McMahon requested that Roman Reigns dominate the match. The result? A terrible match that headlined that show.
John Cena will bump like a champ for Undertaker and suddenly everyone will praise the Taker once again. You just KNOW that it’s going to happen. Besides that awful mixed tag match last year which was overbooked, Cena has made everybody look great for the last 5 years and put over many guys cleanly (Punk, Bryan, Owens, Nakamura, Styles). And again, I think that he has some personal pride at stake to make Roman Reigns sort of look bad and to make the WWE feel like the didn’t appreciate his services since 2014 when Lesnar destroyed him for the WWE Title at SummerSlam 2014.
The REAL QUESTION is this… Who will win?
Honestly, I don’t know… For one, the WWE has hinted at one last WWE Title reign for John Cena during 2018 to officially have the most World Title reigns (although Ric Flair didn’t have his brands “splitting”). On the other hand, I could see a sign of respect given to the Undertaker… But didn’t John Cena give that “sign of respect” to the Rock at Wrestlemania 28? Undertaker has a few big Wrestlemania losses lately following his Streak by losing to Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 30 and then Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 33. John Cena has not only lost to those same guys, but has put over many other wrestlers lately as well (Punk, Bryan, Owens, Nakamura, Styles). It’s honestly hard to say who could win because it’s very likely that this will be the ONLY match-up between these two unless Undertaker is healthier than we believe.
Plus, I believe that things in the WWE could be affected if Brock Lesnar signs a NEW WWE extension, as his 3-year deal is set to expire after Wrestlemania 34. But that’s another column…
SO JUST CHILL… ‘TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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Bookmark Mr. Tito’s Column Archive to read the current and past columns.
© Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com – 1998-2018
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