ASK TITO: Orton/Flair, Dixie, Kamala, Pat McAfee, & More Submitted by Mr. Tito on 08/15/2020 at 12:05 AM
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Happy Weekend everyone and welcome to ASK MR. TITO in which I take your questions via Email, Twitter, or the Comments section below my columns to provide some weekend content for NoDQ.com. I want to once again send a special THANK YOU to the NoDQ audience for welcoming me here to your universe. The NoDQ website is as wonderful as I've observed for years and everything that I've hoped for now working along side my friends Aaron Rift and Virtue while I continue to enjoy content from Big G, Jeff Meacham, and others as well. For any of my loyal readers joining me here at NoDQ, check the rest of NoDQ.com as they have plenty of quality content offerings along with the latest wrestling news.
Speaking of content offerings... I've been messing around with YouTube.com... I'm still somewhat primative with recording audio and video production, but I'll learn with practice. What I'm trying to offer NoDQ is shorter rants of a different variety and as you can tell, they are heavily influenced by other YouTube contributors that I've seen. For example, the Positives of Pro Wrestling very much has that Looper commentary feel, which tries to present stories in a casual and positive light. Meanwhile, Thursday featured a much different video called Wrong With Wresting - Foreign Objects which was my attempt to parody Cinemassacre (or Angry Video Game Nerd)'s videos called "You Know What's BS".
Just trying some things out and with my motivation of joining NoDQ, I have all kinds of ideas flowing through my head throughout the day. I just need to fine tune my audio recording and video production, as I'd love to hear any recommendations from any pros reading this (particularly on audio recording).
Anyway, lots of your questions to cover this week... Let's do this.
ASK MR. TITO - Your Questions, My Answers
Should the botched finish of Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy be of concern to AEW?
Look, I have no problems with Orange Cassidy's abilities if he was exclusively kept in the midcard. AEW is mistaking Cassidy's popularity from the diehard AEW faithful as being a draw to bring in more fans. He would be a fine midcard act but he should NOT be even sniffing the boots of former AEW Champion Chris Jericho, let alone defeating him. Making matters worse was that finish which was completely botched.
Now, during last year with my previous employer, I tried to write on how a late 40's Chris Jericho could remain relevant in pro wrestling, despite his "deteriorating in-ring skills", because Jericho had personality and could still communicate well on the microphone. My argument was that Pro Wrestling sees wrestlers extending their lives into their 40s and even early 50s because the pre-match stuff in Pro Wrestling is every bit as important as the match itself. When Jericho does cuts a promo or delivers an angle to perfection, it amps up the crowds before his matches. Then, in his older age, he can just work the momentum of the crowd that he built up before the match. Jericho is about to turn 50 this year and things aren't as easy to physically execute with age, particularly against a wrestler with a different skillset and experience level.
Cassidy is a unique worker but he's also primarily used for comedy and comedy wrestlers are usually kept in the midcard historically. Jericho reduced his net value as a star to join Orange Cassidy at his comedic level and now putting him over. Comedic wrestler, Orange Cassidy just defeated the first AEW World Champion and Jericho held that title for quite some time. Now, Jericho is repeating history. As my buddy Tom Grinnan reminded me, Chris Jericho was NEVER the same in the WWE after he tried to put over Fandango at Wrestlemania 29. By the way, Fandango flamed out and is currently a Tag Team wrestler in NXT with another fellow demoted wrestler.
This is a common flaw among the top AEW talent... They are reducing their star power in order to wrestle smaller wrestlers or comedic acts. Just last week, Matt Hardy was letting a much smaller Sammy Guevara push him around while a much smaller Darby Allin gave AEW Champion Jon Moxley a tough match. Meanwhile, Cody Rhodes will wrestle anybody. There is nothing "elite" about AEW's supposed top guys.
What do you predict will happen with Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre at SummerSlam?
It feels obvious to me... Ric Flair is going to help Randy Orton defeat Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title. The angle performed on RAW was a swerve to eventually fool Drew into a false sense of security.
Now, I'm not going to waste your time arguing points about pushing Randy Orton as champion. My argument is simple in that we've seen a Main Event push since mid-2004 and with 13 World Championships, I just don't see much to show for it. But we have to face facts... With Drew on top, RAW is consistently drawing under 2 million fans with him as champ. Is all of that his fault? The look of the RAW broadcast looks quite weak without fans... However, I seem to recall watching a bunch of studio wrestling shows during the late 1980s with the NWA/WCW where they were in a tiny area and crowd size didn't matter then, either. If you cannot speak into that camera and effectively reach fans in the television sets, you have no business as champion. Sadly, Orton has never connected with fans either BUT he just signed a major 5 year deal that pays him around $2-3 Million per year.
WHAT I WOULD DO is have Randy Orton win the WWE Title at SummerSlam 2020 and then have Ric Flair advise Randy Orton to "assemble a team of 4 people" like the 4 Horsement and Evolution. Orton should then meet with Hurt Business in MVP, Bobby Lashley, and Shelton Benjamin either to remain Hurt Business (I like that name) or to boldly try to rehash the Horsemen or Evolution. Either way, we need a strong HEEL stable to run wild all over the RAW roster to spice things up.
What are your thoughts on Booker T's Dixie Carter accusations?
In case you missed it, here is the news story relating to Booker T's podcast claims about TNA's former President, Dixie Carter. They are quite bold.
My first thought is for Booker T to be careful with your wording... If you notice, he's vague in parts because as a grown man, he knows that he can be possibly sued for reputational harm regarding these comments. For his sake, I hope that he can prove any of these potential claims of relations between TNA talent and Dixie.
If this is true, it begins to show how dysfunctional TNA was as a company with Dixie Carter in charge. If you look at that mid to late 2000s roster, they have some serious stars on that roster. They also had some good backstage experience flowing through that company and yet they didn't perform as well as they did during the past. As the elder Mr. Tito keeps learning about the wrestling business, if you have weak ownership, weak CEO/Presidents, or weak supporting casts of officers/bookers backstage, there will be no direction for the wrestlers to take to succeed.
I knew that TNA was in trouble when during the early 2010s, a Florida indy wrestler closed to several TNA wrestlers said that guys in suits were witnessed to be attending TNA events and meeting with Dixie Carter often. Then, a few years later, financial troubles began to bubble up. Anthem is trying hard to push the Impact wrestling product but the had a huge hole to climb out.
Are you excited for Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee at NXT Takeover?
No, I'm not because Pat McAfee has made a mockery of the wrestling business because of THIS VIDEO. Instead of showing a video to display how Pat can actually fight by roughing up another trained wrestler inside a ring, he shows a video of taking bumps... I'm not as offended by the flips off the top rope, but by Pat showing that he can take flat bumps on his back inside the ring. In other words, he's selling to any audience member curious about this Cole vs. McAfee "fight" that the slams taken in the ring are safe because they are as a result of training... He should have never shown that.
I like Pat McAfee and enjoy his shows covering sports... But the WWE is foolishly letting him just thrash their business. This isn't a Lawrence Taylor, Mongo McMichael, Earnie Ladd, Kevin Greene, or Reggie White trying to perform here. It's a punter, though I believe Pat is tougher than most. When Triple H discussed with Pat that being an outsider and that he doesn't understand the nuances of the business, Pat's own actions between showing how bumps are taken and being very aggressive towards wrestling and its fanbase on his show validates what HHH said.
Adam Cole was the NXT Champion for over a year and yet he's made to look like a chump against a non-wrestler?
Any thoughts on Jimmy Havoc leaving AEW?
I'm not going to get into the #SpeakingOut stuff... Don't have to. Jimmy Havoc is another 5'10" LESS THAN 200 pound wrestler who just blends in with the rest of the 5'10" LESS THAN 200 pound wrestlers in today's wrestling. On top of that, he works a style that is reliant on No Disqualification based rules (you mean "No DQ"?) and physically isn't impressive in terms of athletic ability.
These talents are a dime a dozen... They seem to all work the same. It's not until you find a Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio Jr., Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, or Daniel Bryan where their talent exceeds their size. WWE and NXT have the same exact problem... Lack of "Larger than Life" talents who are all the same exact short wrestlers.
And that's why NOT having a serious Lightweight or Cruiserweight division hurts... If you have an abundance of smaller guys who look like a true mismatch with 200+ guys over 6 feet tall, then create a smaller division for them. Works for UFC, Boxing, and New Japan... Why not AEW and WWE? Yes, I know that WWE has 205 Live but it is a complete joke of a show and poorly marketed.
Whatever is going on with Jimmy, I hope he finds help and gets better. But dude, come on... Staplers in the ring?
Do you have any Kamala memories in wrestling?
I have to be very honest here... Kamala was more of a 1980s wrestler and I only became a full blown wrestling fan by late 1988. Thus, I completely missed him in the WWE and only saw him in brief appearances during WCW in 1995 and later random shots for WWE during the 2000s. I actually remember Kamala the most from watching older World Class Championship Wrestling shows on ESPN during the afternoons during the late 1980s and early 1990s. That is where I saw the most of him which would have been 1983-1985 but I didn't see him perform in real time.
The backstory, as explained by Jim Cornette recently, is really what makes Pro Wrestling great. The guy was just an oversized performer who wasn't the most athletic or coordinated wrestler... Yet, Jerry Jarrett still saw potential in him and created an amazing gimmick to help mask his abilities. Thus, when he was a little odd in the ring, it was easily explained by his gimmick. Jerry Lawler's paint job of him looked amazing and he carried it until the end of his career.
Kamala's story is what is LOST in wrestling right now and I feel that Paul Heyman during his ECW and Smackdown days was the last to truly do this... To take marginal talent and use creative ideas to mask them. Seriously, look at ECW back then... Heyman had a guy called "911" who would just come down to the ring and chokeslam everybody. That's it... Nothing more. And he got over. Sandman definitely did not have the physique or size to make it in WWE or WCW, yet Paul gave him an adult gimmick where he drank beer and smoked before he started his match and added a kendo stick (the FIRST to make it famous, and he brought his own to the ring instead of finding it under the ring) to beat his opponents senseless.
That's what I feel is missing with today's Creative process in both WWE and AEW... Nobody is hiding or masking weaknesses of wrestlers and pushing more of their strengths. A simple example of having managers around was to help wrestlers who couldn't cut promos themselves. Well, we've gone over 20 years without the presence of managers and many wrestlers, especially heels, are struggling to get over.
Kamala is a success story of the wrestling business and should be preached more often. May he rest in peace.
How do you think a Joe Biden Presidency could affect Pro Wrestling?
Speaking of Kamala... And I'm going to approach this honestly without pushing any political agenda. If Joe Biden happens to defeat WWE Hall of Famer and President Donald Trump, I predict that little would change. Vince McMahon has been the WWE owner since 1982 and before him, his dad own the business for decades. Thus, there is over 50 years of court cases and legal precedence to overcome. Furthermore, unless murder suicides or major drug problems present themselves as they did during the late 2000s, Pro Wrestling won't get on Congress or the President's radar at all.
What I would expect to possibly affect the WWE is the change in the Corporate Tax rate. And I want to stress here, I'm not taking a political stand here... But when the 2017 Tax Cuts were passed by Congress, it was a party line vote. Kamala Harris voted "Nay" against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that reduced the Corporate Tax Rate from 35% to 21%. It could be assumed that if Biden wins and obtains both Houses of Congress, that tax rate could be revisited especially since the Coronavirus based Deficit Spending has ballooned by over $4 Trillion during 2020 alone. In theory, if Corporate Tax Rates go up, that's less Net Income fo the WWE to invest... Ironic, too, because the WWE has a lower Corporate Tax Rate in place and they STILL cut many wrestlers this year.
Aside from that (and maybe they don't raise taxes at all), I don't see much change UNLESS the Pro Wrestlers themselves begin to demand change at their workplace. This whole "Independent Contractor" thing should be challenged by wrestlers, as they are forced to perform for only 1 company at a time per their WWE or AEW contracts. If wrestlers were to challenge that status and potentially attempt to form a Union as well, then I could see some political backing occurring. Until wrestlers show that initiative, past precedence will rule the day for the WWE and other wrestling companies.
Have a great weekend!
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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