ASK TITO: Kenny Omega Hall of Fame?, Zelina Vega, More Submitted by Mr. Tito on 11/21/2020 at 12:34 AM
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Happy weekend and I hope that all is well with the NoDQ.com and my longtime readers. This, of course, is the WEEKEND CHILL edition of Mr. Tito's column experience as I answer your questions from Tweets, Comments, and Emails on various topics from the week.
2020 only has about 40 more days... Yet, I sense that early 2021 will have a hangover effect. As predicted by scientists, the Fall/Winter Cold/Flu season could cause COVID-19 spread faster than ever. Even though the death rates are not growing, the infection rates are and that is shutting down everything once again. For the WWE and AEW, they'll probably have to endure fan-less shows for the next 6 months or so until the Vaccine can be fully distributed. Even though, I can imagine that companies might be careful to pack arenas again for liability purposes and fans might be reluctant to return to the stands (especially at WWE's higher prices).
At the very least, with Thunderdome, WWE has made their product somewhat presentable again and AEW has been OK with their talent at ringside and fans from a distance. They are trying to evolve as much as they can to keep a relevant television product.
Now, if both promotions could figure out how to assemble a Creative Team to properly book shows and better talent developmental system to teach fundamentals of working, wrestling could grow again. WWE has become too corporate and AEW is still a new promotion.
But remember, WWE... You are presently looking for "Lead Writers" for both RAW and Smackdown. Back during September, I wrote a column that acted as a Job Application to join WWE Creative. Sure, it was purely a column, but if given the chance to FIX the creative direction of the WWE, I'd do it for FREE. All you have to do is provide travel and allow me to retain my day job. Simple as that... What do you have to lose?
With AEW, they have younger wrestlers as EVPs and there is no cracking that... Until Tony Khan shakes up that EVP staff, he'll remain under 900,000 permanently. Otherwise, they'll have to pray that their immature booking somehow grows the 18-34 half of the 18-49 Demographic into a force of new wrestling fans. And maybe that is what AEW is doing, playing the long game by trying to produce new fans. Little does AEW realize that kids 18-34 grow up without ever subscribing to Cable or Satellite packages. They are in a losing numbers game...
ASK MR. TITO - Your Questions, My Answers
What do you think of Kenny Omega's Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame induction?
It's hilarious. It goes to show you the "Cult of Personality" that Dave Meltzer has developed as having the #1 wrestling publication in the world. If Meltzer wasn't infatuated with New Japan Pro Wrestling and try to constantly put over that promotion in his news letters, nobody would ever hear about New Japan here in the United States. However, because the Wrestling Observer has so much insider news, every subscriber gets a healthy dose of New Japan propaganda in each newsletter. Eventually, you get beat down by Dave's thoughts on wrestling that it becomes gospel for his many loyal readers.
Remember, Dave is the guy who did not give a single 5-Star Match to the WWE from Badd Blood 1997 (HBK vs. Undertaker) through Money in the Bank 2011 (Punk vs. Cena). Not a single one despite the best efforts from Steve Austin, the Rock, Mick Foley, Triple H, the Undertaker, Edge, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Haas/Benjamin, John Cena, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and many others from that loaded WWE roster throughout the 2000s. Yet, he has the nerve to award almost 10 New Japan matches during that same timespan with 5 stars. You don't think there is an obvious bias towards his favorite and always against WWE?
And giving 6 stars towards Omega vs. Okada... Come on. You cannot tell me, with a straight face, that this match is better than Angle vs. Michaels from Wrestlemania 21 or Michaels vs. Undertaker from Wrestlemania 25. HHH vs. Mick Foley from Royal Rumble 2000. Austin vs. Rock matches were epic. Benoit vs. Angle, Benoit vs. Jericho, Benoit vs. Austin... Yeah, I know that Benoit was a murderer, but he wasn't before 2007 and he had amazing matches and yet Dave held back, on purpose, awarding any 5 star matches to the WWE.
The real question is this... If Kenny Omega was SO GREAT in New Japan, then why hasn't he delivered any good SINGLES matches to AEW yet? Seems to me like Okada can have amazing matches with anyone as proven by Dave's own Star system... Yet, he arrives to AEW and he's not that good especially when the opponent needs carried. And if he was the Wrestling God that Dave proclaims him to be, then why can't AEW Dynamite get above 800,000 viewers consistently? Always up and down like a yo-yo, whether it is below 800,000 or just above it... Never above 900,000 and heaven forbid ever breaking 1 million viewers. Remember when Meltzer mocked Vince Russo's TNA booking when it was scoring 1.5 million on Spike TV back in the day? Yeah... AEW can't even get close to that despite being on TNT which is in way more homes than Spike TV.
Omega's career still has many chapters to write. He's 37 years old... Let his career breathe a little bit, Dave and your fellow Observer readers. Let Omega prove his greatness by making it in the United States, something that he has FAILED to do in the past. Omega needs to thank the wrestlers in New Japan + Dave Meltzer for hyping his career up to be more than it really is. Hall of Famer... Come on. Honestly, for his almost 20 year career, I could argue that he's underwhelmed for having 2 decades in the business.
New Japan is a tiny fraction of the wrestling business, FACT. Until you can prove that you're a great draw in the United States where the MOST wrestling fans exist, you're not considered great. If Omega was the great in-ring performer that you say he is along with the awesome personality that you believe he is, why isn't he showing it in AEW? And he's EVP of that company, for Christ's sake, and should have full power over how his wrestling career is shaped. He's coming up limp...
If the Beatles can decide that they need the United States to legitimize their popularity, so can Kenny Omega!
Do you believe that Zelina Vega (or artist formerly known as) can succeed in AEW?
How are the rest of the AEW women doing these days? Weak Women's Division and the female managers are kind of lame. Honestly with the WWE, Zelina Vega didn't really stand out for me. She was OK and had some talent, but Corporate WWE isn't pushing sex appeal any longer and honestly, that is her best asset. She's short and light which doesn't add much credibility when going up against taller and heavier competitors. WWE's lack of weight classes really causes performers like Vega, Bliss, Ember Moon, and others to look tiny by comparison to their opponents.
Aside from Jon Moxley, whom I'd argue has been a star but has struggled to captivate us with good matches (reliance on hardcore style)... Many WWE imports are struggling to be relevant in AEW. Miro, Brodie Lee, Matt Cardona (Zack Ryder) came and went... What happened to Shawn Spears? Look what happened to FTR... It's over. Young Bucks got their win over the pair for this "dream match".
My answer is NO... AEW's early history suggests that the artist formerly known as Zelina Vega will NOT be successful there.
Besides, AEW's pay isn't that high anyway, as several WWE imports have admitted in interviews. And I don't quite see their wrestlers belonging to a labor union, either. While they allow you to have your own Twitch accounts, AEW employees Independent Contractors too.
Better hope that the Twitch subscribers keep paying you...
What does Randy Orton's 14th Title reign mean to wrestling history?
It means nothing, much like the other 13 reigns. Randy has no trademark wins and most of those title reigns have been very short. Just a disappointing career where he was troubled and overpushed as a youngster and then poorly handled by Creative once he got older. In my opinion, he should have destroyed Triple H at Wrestlemania 25 in a shocking dominant defeat. Instead, they had a lame match following HBK vs. Undertaker and Triple H got the boring win.
Most of Randy's titles have been during the Brand Splits where there existed 2 title belts for him to potentially win that counts towards his World Title count. Ric Flair did not have that luxury, as the NWA/WCW and WWE that he belonged to mostly had 1 World Title... WCW had that goofy NWA split issue that created the WCW International Title, but that was only brief. Flair's title reigns are mostly legit. Orton's are inflated.
This 14th reign was just bad and as the NoDQ Review crew suggested Thursday, it was probably a reward for being a good soldier during 2020. Why give him the title for that? Wasn't his new 5 year contract worth millions enough of an award?
What are your WWE Survivor Series 2020 Predictions?
The show is looking mighty weak this year...
- Team RAW Men's defeats Team Smackdown Men's (Keith Lee or Braun Strowman will standout)
- Team Smackdown Women's defeats Team RAW Women's (Bianca Belair's coming out party)
- Zami Zayn defeats Bobby Lashley (Retribution will interfere here, I believe)
- Street Profits will defeat New Day (veterans trying to help the newbies)
- Sasha Banks will defeat Asuka (Mandalorian, baby!)
- Roman Reigns defeats Drew McIntyre (Roman is on fire as a heel, Drew is just a new champ)
Hopefully, it is a short show this year.
Can Darby Allin turn into a top drawing wrestler for AEW?
Until AEW creates a serious Light Heavyweight division that can properly segregate wrestlers based on their size and weight, these 5'10" 180 Pounders will NEVER draw huge for AEW let alone any promotion. Can we stop pushing these tiny wrestlers over guys who should be legitimate stars in AEW? Cody Rhodes is AEW's best personality and worker and yet he made himself drop the TNT Title to this smaller guy. Seriously, folks, if both Cody and Darby entered to octagon for a real fight, who wins? Who would you put money on?
No, he is a Cruiserweight who is not logically defeating guys larger than him. And several wrestlers are painting half of their faces these days, so thus his look isn't unique.
And nobody can open up a wrestling history book to show me any drawing MALE wrestlers who were 5'10 and UNDER 200 pounds who drew money in Pro Wrestling. Until wrestling adopts legitimate weight classes like Boxing or MMA, smaller wrestlers won't succeed. Yes, I'm aware that WWE has the Cruiserweight Division, but when was the last time that you watched 205 Live? I thought so.
What will be the long-term impact of Zelina Vega's termination from the WWE?
I think wrestlers might get paid a little more than they were... But that's it. No unions will form in the WWE and Andrew Yang cannot undo decades of precedence and WWE's legal team. Besides, you cannot force WWE to acknowledge a Labor Union. The Taft Hartley Act of 1947 primarily banned closed shops which required employers to hire from Labor Unions only. Now, it placed the choice of having a unionized workforce or not in the hands of the employer. It would take Vince McMahon and the WWE Corporation to choose to honor a union for that to ever happen.
I just don't see the WWE's top stars ever wanting to form a Labor Union with all of the money that Vince pays them... Vince is notorious for overpaying his top guys and underpaying the bottom and middle guys. He's smart... Unions cannot form without the top WWE wrestlers, period, and can't force Vince's hand to honor it without he top names.
In short, WWE is going to increase the earnings of wrestlers and get more into the profit sharing mode for outside activities... They don't want another Zelina Vega situation. You'll see more things like Xavier Woods does with his Up Up Down Down show on a much wider scale. WWE allows Woods to do that show for publicity on YouTube. He had a segment where he was driving the new Mario Kart game around the WWE ring in the Thunderdome a few weeks ago.
Vince and his WWE shares are too powerful... They'll never ratify a union as long as he's in charge and given how Stephanie McMahon is affiliated politically, she'll continue that tradition when Vince is gone.
Which is worse? AEW in 2020 or WCW during 2020? (NoDQ.com Review Question)
I just had to steal this question from NoDQ Review... Here's my opinion...
WCW 2000 is WORSE because of all of the top in-ring talent and Creative Team talent that they had, they still sucked hard.
By comparison, AEW is still a new company that started up during early 2019 and have only been on television for just over 1 year. AEW is like a blind man at an orgy, as they are going to have to feel things out.
Look what WCW during 2000 had on their Creative Team: Kevin Sullivan who was a vital contributor to 1996-1997 WCW Nitro shows and angles... Eric Bischoff who made WCW into a powerhouse from 1996-1998 and changed them creatively into realism based storylines. Vince Russo who changed the WWE's creative direction and was head writer during the Attitude Era's peak years. They had several other veterans backstage, too, helping out... All of that successful creative power and yet they produced that CRAP of a television product back then.
AEW is still new and trying to figure things out. OF COURSE they are going to be terrible... They have Tony Khan, who never ran a wrestling business before, and then he trusts 4 younger wrestlers to be his Executive Vice Presidents. The Khans clearly do not know what they are doing... Thus, it's going to be a bumpy ride for both talents and creative.
WCW during 2000 on the other hand still had a decent roster in place and it still SUCKED. Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Sting, Bill Goldberg, Jeff Jarrett, Sid, Rey Mysterio, Diamond Dallas Page, and Booker T. Look what they did to Mike Awesome... "Fat Chick Thriller" and "That 70's Guy". The guy was a badass in ECW as their World Champion and he's immediately marginalized into bad characters in WCW.
Thus, I'm giving AEW some slack because they are STILL NEW and going to hammer WCW for being so bad DESPITE actually having All-Star Creative and Talent casts. All of that brain power and all of that veteran talent and yet they couldn't put together a decent show. WCW had 25 title changes (including vacancies) during 2000 and that includes reigns given to non-wrestling David Arquette and Vince Russo.
AEW has made money during 2020, thanks to their TNT deal, while WCW during 2000 lost over $60 million.
HOWEVER... If you were to ask me which promotion that I'd rather watch... Yeah, I'd probably take WCW during 2000. To me, WCW was like an older pair of shoes that you just refused to throw out. When you put them on, they were comfortable to you and gave you great memories of what you did in those shoes. I'd rather endure 2 hours of CRAP on Nitro and Thunder just to see what Booker T or DDP did that week rather than watching any seconds of AEW Dynamite. I just don't like the in-ring style that AEW pushes and also the tiny wrestlers that they constantly have defeating larger wrestlers. Creatively, WCW was the bigger dumpster fire with all of the World Title changes, odd characters changes, and strange storylines.
WCW was just put dysfunction thanks to Eric Bischoff taking his eye off the ball when he joined the New World Order during late 1996 and that put the wrestlers in complete charge of the promotion as long as Eric got to speak as part of the NWO. Many bloated contracts later and then the AOL/Time Warner merger, this promotion was a sinking ship. Vince Russo came in and lord he tried... But he just didn't have a talented roster of midcarders and the top guys weren't as flexible as Austin, Rock, or Foley.
I watched EVERY WCW Nitro and WCW Thunder during 2000... Just a complete car crash every week. AEW is somewhat like that, but more lame... They are kind of boring in comparison.
WCW 2000 was worse because of the failures involved relating to top all-time great talents. AEW 2020 is failing because they are a new promotion with inexperienced guys in charge. BIG DIFFERENCE.
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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