ASK TITO: Sting in AEW?, Full Gear Predictions, More Submitted by Mr. Tito on 11/06/2020 at 07:40 AM
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Welcome back to your weekend EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING experience that you can only get here at NoDQ.com. How about that election, eh? Yeah, it's taking forever for certain states to count votes, but the political ads are off your television screen and all of the signs are coming down. The Presidential drama is one thing, but damn, some of the local races in my area get personal too. When Election Night happens, the drama goes away locally and I'm thankful for that.
Speaking of Election Day, I posted a "positives" column (link is below at the bottom) to help wrestling fans take their mind off of politics. Of course, it wasn't about politics as it was a pure troll column. Some of you exploded on me, thinking that each and every point posted there was a serious take. It wasn't... Just trying to get a good laugh to "break the ice" regarding the elections. Geesh. Feel lucky, too, as there were 2-3 that I actually removed because they were somewhat untasteful.
Gotta chill, guys... Speaking of chill, as this is the WEEKEND CHILL COLUMN here at NoDQ, onto your questions as generated by emails, Twitter, and Comments. Enjoy.
ASK MR. TITO - Your Questions, My Answers
If Joe Biden officially becomes President, does Andrew Yang's threats towards WWE become a reality?
I was looking through Debate footage and Yang never went after Joe Biden like say Kamala Harris did. That said, Harris was someone that the Democratic Party wanted to prop up. Yang is what they call "small ball" in politics, with zero experience in politics and only rose to fame to be a candidate due to his private sector experience. After the first Primary where he received just 1% more of the vote than I did, he quickly endorsed Joe Biden for President. So that's good.
I expect that if Joe Biden officially wins the Presidential Election, he'll surround himself with older friends for the key cabinet positions. Joe has been in politics for 47 years and was helped by many friends in Congress and within the Democratic Party. They'll get first crack at those key cabinet positions, not Yang due to his inexperience and lack of association with Joe Biden. However, which always happens with cabinet positions, many just last 1-2 years before a new appointment is needed. That's when maybe an Andrew Yang is considered.
Do I believe that Yang receives a Biden cabinet spot? Not at first... And even if he did, Yang doesn't fully realize that he's up against 40 years of Vince McMahon setting precedence with labor laws and how strong Vince's legal team is to fight any policy. As we'll discuss in a bit with Prop 22 in California, I believe that MORE Independent Contractor growth will be seen, not less.
How will Proposition 22 from California affect WWE's business there?
In case you missed it with other Election Night stuff, California passed Proposition 22 (also known as App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative). From what I gather, there was some confusion in California over past legislation over how Uber and Lyft drivers were considered for those companies. Were they employees in which Payroll Taxes and Federal/State taxes were withheld by employer plus being required to pay benefits (Pension/Healthcare) or were they Independent Contractors who would be paid a particular rate and the drivers would figure out their own taxes. That's more important than you think for a Uber/Lyft driver because they can act as an individual business and it would allow them to itemize expenses (like their Car) for paying taxes.
Prop 22 just adds clarity to a past Labor Law... California passed this initiative, so thus they are officially Independent Contractors in the state of California.
How could it affect the WWE? Well, it just shows you that the "will of the voters" deem that Independent Contractors are OK to have. For Lyft/Uber drivers, they'll work for either (maybe both) companies and they'll pick up drives for whomever they want. Not being a full time employee will give them the flexibility of their own income and tax situation to do whatever they want.
NOW - This is different than the WWE... As a WWE wrestler, you essentially have to do whatever the WWE tells you. You cannot make appearances elsewhere, nor can you pick or choose where you want to wrestle. As many wrestlers recently found out, they cannot make side income with Twitch, Cameo, YouTube, or other Third Party online entities as long as they were signed under WWE's contract.
Now that I think of it, Prop 22's definition of an Independent Contractor could be used against the WWE for its definition of "independent contractor" because WWE wrestlers don't have the freedoms that Uber or Lyft drivers will have as businessmen. WWE wrestlers can't work elsewhere, nor can they establish themselves as a single business.
Hmmmmm... Now I'm starting to get it. Oh Andrew?
Could the Young Bucks being out of action for a while harm AEW?
Reportedly, Matt Jackson has a few tears in his knee that are bothering him and could need surgery soon. I believe that he's dealing with a partially torn MCL and ACL which either don't heal by themselves (doctor, I am not) or can't heal by themselves based on his career as a wrestler. He'll need time off...
Are we ready for Nick Jackson as a singles wrestler? He's another one of those 5'10", 180 guys that are everywhere in AEW. With knee ligament tears, you're looking at 6-10 months recovery time... I don't know... There's a reason why the Bucks have stayed together this long, in my opinion. Plus, Nick doing superkicks by himself won't hurt anyone...
The real question is this... Are the Bucks draws in AEW?
If you look at Ratings numbers, they practically remain the same no matter who is wrestling or who is headlining. Ditto for their Pay Per View numbers. With AEW, I believe that being an alternative to WWE is what sells, not the wrestlers themselves.
All depends on what we see at Full Gear. I could see the Bucks getting the win at Full Gear to win their one and only AEW Tag Titles but get screwed HARD in the main event of Dynamite next week where an injury angle could happen. The injury angle could create sympathy to allow the Bucks to seek revenge at a later date.
Do you have any AEW Full Gear predictions?
Let me get my dartboard out... I have to admit that anytime I see the word "Gear", it brings me back to the Australian prison show "Wentworth" which calls drugs as "gear". Do you got the gear? I've got some gear for you, here are my predictions!
- Serena Deeb defeats Allysin Kay (no way NWA is letting their title switch on a pre-show)
- Young Bucks defeat FTR to become NEW AEW Tag Champions (lose in future rematch)
- MJF defeats Chris Jericho (to begin Rock-like storyline to devour Nation of Domination from within, but with Inner Circle for MJF - I agree with Jim Cornette that this will happen)
- Orange Cassidy defeats John Silver
- Nyla Rose defeats Hikura Shida to become NEW AEW Women's Champ
- Matt Hardy defeats Sammy Guevara
- Darby Allin defeats Cody Rhodes to become the NEW TNT Champion
- Kenny Omega defeats Adam Page to become #1 contender
- Jon Moxley defeats Eddie Kingston
What does NXT's big drop in viewers this week mean?
That most wrestling fans view NXT as WWE's Triple A affiliate and not a serious wrestling promotion. Does that work? They are a FARM SYSTEM promotion. And they only beat AEW last week because of the Halloween Havoc gimmick.
Which reminds me... The main WWE roster needs to steal that old WCW gimmick and REPLACE the awful "Hell in a Cell" Pay Per View name with that. Halloween Havoc was the BEST WCW Pay Per View of the year because you could use the spooky atmosphere to push certain gimmick matches AND your live attending crowd could dress up in costumes. It created a fun atmosphere for both wrestlers and fans, thus getting the best out of both of them for this event.
NXT isn't going to do anything until the threat of being called up to the WWE is gone. Historically speaking, farm system games for hockey and baseball never came close to drawing a fraction of the pro leagues. Nobody goes to G-League games and every Arena League has failed. XFL has now failed twice trying their substandard football leagues in the Spring.
Until NXT shakes that "farm system" reputation, they might as well get used to 700,000 viewers at best for a USA Network channel available to 85 million homes.
I have consistently said this for YEARS and nobody will listen to me. Well, the numbers speak for themselves, listen to them!
Do you believe that Dave Meltzer is on AEW's payroll?
No - I keep receiving this question repeatedly and someone encouraged me to check out an "invoice" from AEW that had the Wrestling Observer on it. Here's the thing about Dave Meltzer... If it was ever discovered that he was financially linked to AEW, meaning that he was on their payroll, he could have major credibility issues and lose the many loyal WWE fans who have subscribed to his newsletters for decades.
HOWEVER - He is clearly very friendly to AEW. If you ever notice from his newsletters, you NEVER hear about morale issues nor do you ever see Creative/Production meeting notes that you consistently hear about WWE. Either nobody at AEW is feeding Meltzer that, he's not purposely seeking that information, OR he refuses to report it. Take your pick... However, I have a different take on the morale/meeting notes from the WWE, as I've believed that the Triple H camp has been feeding him the morale and creative notes for a while now. Hence, the resulting Twitter block from Dave to yours truly when I alleged that in a column at my previous place.
Dave's issue is that he's clearly BIASED towards AEW and notsomuch as a paid AEW employee. Here are the reasons why he is biased:
(a) He loves New Japan. Anybody who works there never receives a bad word from Dave, ever.
(b) AEW's VP of Business Strategy is Chris Harrington who used to provide statistics and other business numbers to the Wrestling Observer.
(c) Dave follows California Independents closely, especially Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. He loves attending those events. Thus, if you've passed through that promotion, he'll be favorable to you.
(d) He hates the WWE. Like many older fans close to territories, he probably dislikes how Vince took wrestling national. In addition, Dave loves New Japan and has grown to love the California Indy scene, everything that the WWE is not. His newsletters are consistently going after the WWE for scandals, backstage happenings, and whatnot and Dave is even on several TV shows with Vince McMahon on screen debating the sex and drug scandals of the early 1990s.
Dave doesn't have to be on the AEW payroll to be clearly biased. But I don't want to fully diminish Dave because he's a wrestling fan at heart and has passion each week to write extensive newsletters for fans to read. I respect that more than you know...
Should Sting join AEW?
Many fans are reading deeply into Sting's merchandise being pulled from WWE Shopzone, suggesting that maybe he had a contract expire recently. The contract thing makes sense, considering he signed with the WWE before the 2014 edition of Survivor Series. It's very likely that he signed a 1 year deal and then a 5 year deal after that, my guess. Do the math.
Look... I'm a HUGE Sting fan and it was his match against Ric Flair at Clash of the Champions #1 during 1988 that made me into a full blown wrestling fan. I met Sting as a Comic Con and I have a picture with him hanging on my wall as I write this column. BUT he's 61 right now. Could he still wrestle? I don't know what has or hasn't healed from the spinal injuries suffered at the hands of Seth Rollins and his foolish Bucklebombs.
Can Sting contribute backstage? See, we've NEVER seen him in an Agent or Creative capacity ever because he's always been presented as a wrestler. There aren't many stories of Sting being a backstage force, nor are there any stories about him directly helping wrestlers. I'm sure he has given advice, but not to the extent of helping others come up with creative finishes like say the Undertaker has. Undertaker walks into that locker room and he's completely respected and wrestlers seek him for advice. For Sting, it's not the same.
Would it be fun if Sting appeared at Full Gear? Sure... But what happens after that matters and we saw that in the WWE. His Survivor Series 2014 appearance was fun but the matches with Triple H and Seth Rollins were NOT. The storylines hyping those Triple H and Rollins matches especially were not.
That said, I think he's at least worth something to train to become a Road Agent to see what his 35 year career could teach other wrestlers. That said, we're not seeing much from DDP, Arn, Jake, Tully, Billy Gunn, or others on teaching wrestlers as the EVPs control everything backstage at AEW.
It wouldn't surprise me if he rejoined Impact for some kind of on-screen role... He has extensive roots there from a second career there.
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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