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Welcome to the first official Mr. Tito column of 2018 which are exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. Quite scary to now have “1998-2018” now at the bottom of my columns… But I’m proud of that. I don’t need any trophies or medals. I’ve got longevity, loyalty from many longtime readers, and my pageviews have been very strong in my later years. Those facts speak for themselves. I had a really great 2017 with a column archive of Pay Per View Reviews, opinionated pieces, and financial columns that I’d stack up against anyone online who writes about wrestling.
Now, if you were clicking this column and were expecting a New Japan Wrestle Kingdom 12 review… Well, you’re out of luck. Sorry! Didn’t watch it live, as the only way that I could have seen it is by entering my account information into a Google Translated New Japan website. Well, that’s not happening. I’m just a big uneasy about that experience as I’ve seen enough electronic fraud in the banking world that I’ll pass… I’m not crazy about shelling out $20 to SlingTV just to watch it on AXS several days later (I’m a Cable/Satellite cord cutter). Also, I don’t want to watch any “hot” versions of the show on Daily Motion or something like that. I’d rather pay New Japan Pro Wrestling for quality entertainment in return. However, their stuff isn’t accessible like the WWE Network for example. I counted around the house… If I wanted, I could view the WWE Network on 8 different devices in my house.
I’m old… I work a demanding financial job for a living, I’m married, I have kids… I’m burned out from following WWE’s overexposure each week. I don’t want any added work to find someone’s wrestling product. Based on last year’s success, New Japan should have created some kind online streaming infrastructure to reasonably compete with the WWE. Yes, I’m aware that New Japan World is a website that you could log into, but could I watch the event live from an App? From my Blu Ray player? I don’t think so unless I can read Japanese for their App (which I can’t). Make it accessible for us old guys who are tired of the WWE’s repetitive and creatively stupid crap. We’re begging to watch more of you but you don’t make it easy to enter your door. That’s why I made my 2018 prediction that Mark Cuban will buy into Ring of Honor and make that the gateway into New Japan. Trust me, Cuban is seeing the reaction of Wrestle Kingdom 12 and is quite interested now in his AXS product.
I’ll spare you my comments on a New Japan show that I didn’t see… I am hearing good things about it and I’m happy for the promotion. Hopefully, Chris Jericho‘s appearance there convinces other misused WWE wrestlers to give other wrestling avenues a try. WWE as a strong holder of wrestling marketshare in the United States of America is bad for pro wrestlers because WWE can control their money and stature. Jericho is the #1 guy that I’m incredibly happy for as he just added yet another line to his extensive resume. What a guy. And now, he’ll take a Cruiseline to the sea and I project his wrestling boat trip will be a big deal too.
What I can comment on is the WWE… I’m going to do the SAME exact thing as last week by simply pointing out specific examples of RAW and Smackdown to continues to prove what is WRONG with the WWE. For 2018, I’m going to beat this drum hard because the WWE can get better. Lots of talent on that WWE roster but if the WWE’s focus remains ONLY to get Roman Reigns over as the #1 guy while destroying everybody else… 2018 will be a fatal year for the WWE. Combine the bad creative with Vince McMahon‘s spread-thin focus being on starting up another pro football league, wrestlers might want to consider following Chris Jericho. Just look at what Cody Rhodes accomplished and WWE wanted to play a goofy midcarder role.
Anyway, if you want to EASILY see what’s FREAKIN’ WRONG and BROKEN about the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), just consider the following highlights from RAW and Smackdown which deserve complete FINGERS OF SHAME:
WEEKLY FINGERS OF SHAME to WWE RAW & SMACKDOWN
By the way, another week UNDER 3 million viewers. Yeah, I know it’s the holiday… But I recall Holidays, NFL, College Football, and other forms of “competition” not being an excuse. If you have HIGH DEMAND for any product in live, you’ll consider your opportunity costs and enjoy the product you love. When you attempt to manufacture guys into Main Eventers, such as Roman Reigns or Jinder Mahal, the demand for the WWE product is low and they’ll watch/do other things. Simple economics.
What does the WWE not see in Cesaro?
Am I missing something? What is the WWE management missing on Cesaro. The guy works great with everybody, has trademark moves, and has been nothing but a company guy since he was brought to the main WWE roster. Some say he cuts a weak promo but I haven’t heard him say anything terribly offensive. He’s much more authentic than Jinder or Roman obviously saying scripted lines. After that Andre the Giant Battle Royal win, they’ve just crapped all over this guy. Funny thing is that any midcard project that they shove on him, he succeeds. World class worker and he’s the kind of guy that I’d LOVE to see jump ship elsewhere to prove WWE wrong. Freakin’ enhancement talent for Jason Jordan. COME ON!
What is the WWE doing with Apollo Crews?
I don’t get it. Why did the WWE even bother calling him up from NXT if they aren’t going to use him or give him any opportunities to shine. That’s why wrestlers should stay in NXT… If they aren’t ready for the bright lights of the WWE roster, then let him polish their career in NXT. This guy could have tremendous upside with his athletic ability and kids love him… But nope, let’s let him job to a guy who has underperformed during 2017 named Bray Wyatt.
Time to repackage Bray Wyatt. 2017’s biggest bust.
Before I even watched NXT, I kept hearing how wonderful the “Wyatt Family” was in NXT. And then he’s come up… Well, he had some good matches with Daniel Bryan bumping for him. I liked that Hell in a Cell match with Roman, actually… But after that? Eh… Guy can’t stay healthy. That 2017 WWE Title run and then Wrestlemania 33 match, yuck. Granted, the booking didn’t go his way, but the gimmick is causing the bad creative decisions. Why can’t anyone simply acknowledge that he has Windham and Rotunda blood flowing through his veins? Hell, that’s his freakin’ name! And acknowledge that Bo Dallas is his brother and has the SAME bloodline. Why not? Let them be a tag team together and market their bloodline as hard as you can. Keep their names if you’d like but quit fooling us with stupid “sports entertainment”. This psychotic backwoods gimmick is NOT working and Bo Dallas is stuck in the lower midcard.
NON-TITLE win by Asuka over RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss??
We’re STILL doing this bullcrap in 2018. Nothing has changed. LAZY BOOKING. Again, we never see non-title matches in UFC and Boxing. In fact, that would be stupid and nobody buying Pay Per Views from both would ever purchase non-title matches. Worse yet, you’ve BLOWN any “big” moments for Asuka as she’s already defeated the RAW Women’s Champion… So when the title is on the line next time, who cares?
No love for Samoa Joe.
Just go back to July 2017 when Samoa Joe was hyping his feud with Brock Lesnar. RAW’s viewership bumped back over 3 million viewers after struggling badly through June… Joe was also treated as a big deal for SummerSlam 2017 as well. Injury happened… But you cannot erase the FACT that wrestling fans were excited to see Samoa Joe in a Main Event level feud. Numbers don’t lie. Now, he’s just a midcarder for Roman Reigns to beat on the undercard of RAW repeatedly now. Embarrasing and a major opportunity lost.
Still pushing Kane…
I can’t be the only one shaking his head at a slower moving Kane trying to attack the most dangerous human on the planet in Brock Lesnar. Just looks terrible. Lesnar is actually going to have to carry 2 big muscle heads at the Rumble. Do you think that Kane or Strowman will bump and sell for him convincingly?
INSTANT REPLAY FOR TITLE MATCHES?!?
Seriously… We have Titantrons for EVERY event and for once, someone demanded an Instant Replay to help a referee reverse a decision? Are we this obtuse to just pick and choose when it could be used or not? Ridiculous. I’ve said it for years now… Instant Replay should be a thing on every Title Match and it could create great storyline drama. Then, if you get a controversial call… Maybe give a losing wrestler a 10 count or something after the match to get up and challenge the decision? I don’t know… But why not use it instead of cheapening it by using it “once in a while”.
By the way, the Instant Replay angle cheapens when Chad Gable/Shelton Benjamin do officially win the titles. Remember when the WWE reversed the Charlotte Flair 1st title decision? It diminished her first real win.
Breezango & Bludgeon Brothers
Just look at both teams… Poorly dressed, poorly marketed characters. Their matches have been prompting utter silence from fans. Nobody cares. Why can’t anybody remember when Luke Harper pushed Randy Orton to a GREAT match last year? Why can’t Harper be rewarded for that and pushed as a serious singles wrestler?
Riott Squad wins again
Again, another case of developmental wrestlers being added to the WWE roster and instantly winning over talents who have been on the WWE roster for a while. Gee, wonder why they are not over?
Non-Title win for Sami Zayn?!?
Sami Zayn BEAT the WWE Champion AJ Styles in a non-title match. Yes, I know that there was interference that caused this… But this is a consecutive loss for AJ Styles on Smackdown with these non-title matches. Mind you, AJ Styles was also WWE Champion when James Ellsworth stole a few wins from him. What the hell? Aside from losing to Randy Orton for a non-title match, you saw Jinder Mahal beating everybody he faced as WWE Champion. AJ Styles needs to grow a pair and verbally thrash WWE Creative for the ridiculous booking of him as champion. Styles should be racking up multiple clean win victories as champion by now but instead, Shane vs. Bryan matters more.
Handicap match for Royal Rumble
Seriously, one of their authority figures thinks that it’s a GREAT idea to have a 2 on 1 Handicap match for the WWE Title at Royal Rumble. Unbelievable. Even Vince Russo can look at that “sports entertainment” match-up and can say “bro, I tried that many times and it didn’t work”. Embarrassing. I’m sure that the match will be entertaining as AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn have the talent to pull it off. But again with my UFC/Boxing analogy, have you ever seen their Titles go up for grabs in a handicap match?
Tired of Shane McMahon vs. Daniel Bryan
I really am. It’s the #1 focus of Smackdown when it should be how great their current WWE Champion, AJ Styles, is. Nope… It’s a dong measuring contest with both guys trying to act like the babyfaces. Seriously, if this doesn’t lead to Daniel Bryan wrestling in a WWE ring later this year, it’s a complete waste of time. The broader point is that my favorite authority figures are William Regal and Jack Tunney. They just stayed out of the way and only made rulings when absolutely necessary. Vince McMahon did it best during 1998 and since then, it’s just repeating his old playbook as the authority figure.
THE LAST WORD
It’s WWE Royal Rumble time and I’m miserable as a WWE fan. In my opinion, they have a talented roster but a bad management and creative group. If you don’t believe me, then why is President/CEO Vince McMahon wanting to create a pro football league… Again?
I’ll tell you what I’m bummed at… Yes, the Women’s Royal Rumble is interesting but it’s Stephanie McMahon selling that. It SHOULD BE Triple H who recreated what Women’s Wrestling is in the WWE through his NXT promotion. Stephanie McMahon was the complete enabler of Hot Lesbian Action (HLA), Domestic Violence towards female superstars, and the Divas Search when SHE was the Creative Team leader from late 2000 through 2013. Why is she repeatedly given credit in the WWE for the wealth of talent that Triple H’s NXT talent is providing? She had no hand in that process.
2017 was just a complete bummer in itself… Full of disappointment. Did not like Wrestlemania 33, hated the lost opportunity taken from Samoa Joe, pissed at WWE for rushing Strowman vs. Lesnar and Cena vs. Reigns at No Mercy, and complete waste of time that was the Shield reunion. Yes, I’m aware that I called for the Shield reunion and in my opinion, I was right because Roman Reigns’s career as the #1 babyface was on life support. The Shield has somewhat helped him but it did nothing for the other 2 members and it became a joke on how unauthentic it was and how random guys could join it (Angle, HHH). What made the Shield great for much of their time as a trio, besides their brief stint as thugs for the Authority, as that they were independent from the rest of the roster and marketing. They had that “nWo” anti-corporate feel to them that made the Shield great. They were VERY corporate during 2017.
Took me a few days to honestly write this column because I just wasn’t motivated to do so… Remember my discussion about how holidays, football, etc. weren’t excuses for Monday Night wrestling shows in the past but aren’t now? It’s because viewer demand to watch wrestling WHEN IT’S GOOD is so strong that it overcomes holidays or what else is on television. I’m like watch RAW/Smackdown/Write a Column or keep binging Unsolved Mysteries on Amazon Prime, playing Rocket League, watching anything on Netflix/YouTube, etc. Anymore, I just catch the clips of RAW/Smackdown on YouTube and I’ve saved hours worth of time for the week.
I don’t want Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar to headline Wrestlemania 34 with Roman winning the WWE Universal Title. Not at all.
That’s not what I want to be looking forward to as a wrestling fan. I have the awful 2017 and now what’s expected fo 2018… Eh, that WWE Network subscription could be evaluated during 2018 at several given points. I’ll give the WWE until SummerSlam 2018 to shape-up or I’ll definitely consider things. Problem is that I enjoy writing about wrestling as Mr. Tito and chances are that this column keeps me attached to the WWE… But if the other promotions (New Japan, Ring of Honor, whomever) just make it easier for me to watch their stuff and BE INTERESTING… I’ll give you a try.
I want to remain a wrestling fan… Problem is that the WWE isn’t willing to have anyone who is against Roman Reigns being the #1 guy. After having Roman beat Triple H, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Undertaker, CM Punk, and John Cena… He’s still not over. 1 million RAW viewers lost, thousands of fans lost in the stands for live events since his strong push began in 2014. Those are just facts, folks… If WWE wants to keep ignoring facts, then I can start ignoring them.
Quite a dilemma for 2018.
SO JUST CHILL… ‘TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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