ASK TITO: Sting, Patterson, AEW/Impact, & More Submitted by Mr. Tito on 12/03/2020 at 12:56 AM
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The EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING has returned to NoDQ.com and we're a wee bit early for this week's edition of "ASK MR. TITO". Rather than waiting until Friday or Saturday to write the next weekend chill column that answers your questions, let's just write it tonight with your questions pouring in after HUGE events hit the fan today.
I've been writing about Pro Wrestling since late October 1998... When a big story hits, it has to be your duty to cover it immediately in order to remain relevant as a writer. I'm well known for my coverage of current events and there have been times where I had ZERO intentions of writing one evening and then a big story drops.
We're going to get right to it, as these stories are RED HOT...
ASK MR. TITO - Your Questions, My Answers
What do you think about Sting joining AEW?
First of all, let's just get this out of the way first... WWE blew it, bigtime, with Sting. For one, he should have been in the WWE 10-15 years ago instead of 5 years ago when his older shell of himself appeared for the WWE and jobbed to Triple H at Wrestlemania 31 in a ridiculous "Monday Night Wars" match and then getting hurt badly at the hands of Seth Rollins at Night of Champions 2015. Through their own pettiness, the WWE evaporated the last few drops that they could have pulled out of Sting. Undertaker vs. Sting was the obvious match that EVERYONE wanted and we never received it. And I'm sorry, but if someone like a Pat Patterson was backstage and helping Sting and Seth Rollins prepare their match, he'd tell Seth Rollins about the 2 Buckle Bombs: "why on earth would you want to try that?"
Now, for his AEW debut and reported multi-year contract... He was born during March 1959 and therefore makes him 61 years old. He has spinal stenosis and reportedly never had the corrective surgery for that. Based on the tougher success rate of the surgery and the fact that it is repairing the narrowing of your spinal canals, there is no returning. However, if you're nuts enough, like Sheamus right now, you can work through it but there is a risk that numbness of your limbs will increase with time. There's a chance that if Sting didn't have the surgery yet, he could probably work a few safe matches. Always possible.
But does AEW NEED Sting?
The younger fan in me, who became addicted to Pro Wrestling thanks to seeing a video game of Sting vs. Ric Flair at Clash of the Champions #1 (I even told Sting that to his face at an autograph signing), is happy to see the Stinger still on television... The older fan is like "he's 61 years old" and as my good friend Jayson puts it, he'll be another "ceremonial ring ornament to someone in AEW". We already have Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and Tazz acting as mentors to wrestlers...
To me, I'd try his hand as an on-screen Authority Figure. Sorry, but Cody should NOT be allowed to admit, on television, that he has executive power within the company. Never mention it again... Sting is a trusted veteran and can cut promos well. Let him be an unbiased match maker and judge & jury when needed. Modern day Jack Tunney...
AND I would also inquire Sting about joining AEW's Creative Team. Sorry, but the EVPs and Tony Khan are in over their head and they need a veteran wrestling mind to help guide them. Sting still has a youthfulness about him, even at the age of 61, that could translate into logical storylines that pleases the younger fanbase that AEW is seeking.
Since WCW and ECW went away during 2001 and TNA lost their minds, with time, there hasn't been a conversion process of veteran wrestlers becoming parts of Creative Teams. While the WWE has road agents, they are essentially there to babysit during Houseshows and help relay instructions to wrestlers about their matches. WWE's Creative Team is Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn, a kiss arse yes man named Michael PS Hayes, and then a bunch of Hollywood Writers. Triple H attends those meetings but says nothing. We've had Edge, Mick Foley, the Undertaker, Christian, Rikishi, and others retiring and yet they aren't part of the Creative Team? In AEW, it's Tony Khan trying to craft storylines around the bad talent roster that Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks recruited.
I'm happy that Sting can still find work at the age of 61 and through 2020... I just hope that AEW doesn't try to push it with him as a wrestler. Try to let him be a creative mind backstage and maybe try him as an unbiased Authority Figure. Sting has a fanbase out there and they'd be willing to try AEW as long as they know that Sting is being treated well.
Multi-year deal... So he's around for a while and so thus, try to pick that brain of his on what works well in wrestling. Sting knew what he was doing and was an excellent babyface wrestler who knew when to change things up with the times. The shift from the blonde Sting to Crow Sting saved his career. I personally liked the Joker Sting in TNA...
Happy for the guy and I'm hoping that at the very least, AEW doesn't embarrass Sting as the WWE did. FINGER OF SHAME to the WWE for that Triple H match and then letting Seth Rollins injure Sting with 2 freakin' Buckle Bombs, a move of which that has since been banned in the WWE.
What do you think about the potential AEW and Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA) relationship?
In case you missed it, Kenny Omega won the AEW World Title by defeating Jon Moxley BUT Kenny had help from longtime friend Don Callis. If you haven't kept up with other promotions and only watched WWE or ECW, he was the Jackyl in the WWE with the Truth Commission stable and then as a hilarious color commentator with Joey Styles in ECW as Cyrus. He was quite hilarious in ECW, often poking fun of ECW's television deal with TNN and its other programming like Roller Jam. After ECW folded, he was briefly in TNA and then retired for about 13 years before re-emerging in New Japan wrestling where he probably became close with Kenny Omega. Since 2017, Callis has been an executive for Impact Wrestling.
After the Omega vs. Callis match and celebration, Don Callis hyped that he'd have an explanation this Tuesday on Impact Wrestling. Wow, that's a plug, man!
At the very least, it's an interesting move... The talent sharing between the two promotions could be healthy, as Impact has a DAMN GOOD Women's Division and can help AEW there greatly. AEW has a weak midcard, too... Impact lacks top guys with name power and maybe AEW could loan out some of their top guys for an angle. A good way to potentially challenge the WWE is to recreate a territory system that allows promotions to swap talents between themselves to keep things fresh.
BUT - Impact Wrestling doesn't even crack the Top 50 list on television viewership for Cable/Satellite shows. Seriously, they aren't drawing much on AXS and recent word is that they are maybe drawing 200,000 viewers, at best! AXS is available to only 50 million homes in America and that is less than TNT who is available in about 85 million households right now. I would worry that the idea of these deal might sound good on paper but in the end, it might benefit Impact Wrestling more than it would AEW. AEW didn't need anyone's help to obtain a 4 year, $175 Million deal to air television on TNT.
And my question is where will Tessa Blanchard go now that Impact is working with AEW? She had salary issues with Impact and reportedly wanted to make more money since became their Heavyweight Champ. Does their relationship together possibly keep Tessa out of AEW and maybe points her to joining WWE?
I like Don Callis a lot and I hope that he and AEW officials take this relationship seriously.
Any thoughts on Pat Patterson who just passed away?
This one hurts... As I said in my Tweet earlier today, he was a real asset to the pro wrestling industry and an incredible team player. After he retired as a wrestler, he tried his hand at being a referee and then joined WWE's Creative Team. Somehow, he became in charge of WWE's Talent Relations and it just wasn't his cup of tea. He gave that up and focused more on the creative of the in-ring match instead of the storylines leading to the match. Meanwhile, Talent Relations went to Bruce Prichard before settling with Jim Ross.
During late 1990s, you have the PERFECT storm of backstage talent constructing WWE shows. Vince McMahon obviously in charge... Jim Ross and Gerald Brisco both recruited talents to restock the WWE and increase the benches for future hall of famers. Both Jim Cornette and Bruce Prichard were around to pitch ideas, as both guys had years of experience working with Bill Watts and other territories. A hungry Vince Russo became lead writer and he changed the tone of the WWE to be more adult oriented. Whatever Ross, Brisco, Prichard, Cornette, Russo, and McMahon could hand to Pat Patterson to relay to wrestlers, Pat would make it happen inside the ring with a creative finish. It was a PERFECT system and THAT is what beat WCW in the Monday Night Wars.
Seriously, you could hand Patterson any difficult storyline or angle and he'd craft the match or the finish to enhance what he was given. If you look at one of my favorites, Survivor Series 1998, and I guarantee that Vince & Vince handed him the ideas of "Shane McMahon will turn heel, so will the Rock to become champion". With those ideas on paper, Patterson has to speak with Shane, Mick Foley, Steve Austin, and the Rock on how to execute that in the ring. Think about all of those HUGE Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and Wrestlemania events that filtered through Patterson. Some of your most favorite matches were likely to be scripted, particularly the finish, by Pat.
Russo could hand him the most off-the-wall ideas and he'd make it work inside the ring... And then when Russo left, it was a new Creative Team and then eventually, he had to work with Stephanie McMahon. Whatever the storylines were at the time, the Pay Per Views for the WWE before 2004 were consistently good.
Patterson was GREAT... Perfect for working with wrestlers and coming up with perfect finishes to their match that helped fans accept the storylines heading into the match.
And he created the Royal Rumble match! That was him... The most perfect match format ever created that delivers nothing but excitement for a full hour was created by Pat Patterson. Years ago, Matthewmatosis argued that Tetris was the "most perfect computer game ever made" and he discussed that if Aliens were to ever invade the earth and picked up Tetris, they could comprehend the rules and quickly learn how to play the game. I feel that any television viewer could turn on the Royal Rumble and be compelled to keep watching with the slow feeding over-the-top Royal Rumble system. That countdown until the next wrestler arrives builds amazing anticipation that you cannot find elsewhere in wrestling.
REST IN PEACE, Pat. You made a major impact onto Pro Wrestling and based on the way that Pay Per Views have been scripted since you reduced your role, it shows. WWE needs another Pat Patterson to help with their matches. It's sad that the WWE didn't recognize Patterson's skill and give him a staff to learn from him. That way when Patterson retired, they had contingency plans in place to replace him. The major issue in WWE is their inability to replace the magical Attitude Era staff that they had. John Laurinaitis was no Jim Ross, neither is Triple H at Talent Relations. Both Stephanie and Triple H, along with their Hollywood Writers, were not as good as Russo, Ferrara, Cornette, and Prichard at creative.
What do you think about Kenny Omega winning the AEW Title?
Why not? Moxley should have won the Title, as I won't dispute that, but his matches as champion have been awful. Moxley's hardcore style was not only stale but reckless as well. Omega has had years of hype from his New Japan success and they should have considered giving him the title sooner.
He has to get rid of this cleaner gimmick... Aside from Dave Meltzer and his cult of personality followers, nobody cares about New Japan storylines. Most have seen your big matches against Okada or Chris Jericho. Right now, Omega gets a ton of heat from Jim Cornette's podcasts and longtime WWE fans don't like him. Well, use that against them. If Cornette criticizes something that you do, and as long as it isn't blatantly obvious and offensive, double down on that. Ditto with the longtime WWE fan criticisms. If you're a heel, your job is to get heat... Go after your critics with your in-ring character.
What I just don't see is the amazing worker that many New Japan loyalists swear that he is... Take away Okada and Jericho, where are his biggest matches? And aside from a few Tag Matches, he's not setting the world on fire with his work in AEW. It could very well be that Omega has thinned himself out as an EVP and an in-ring talent.
Yeah, it's fine to have him as AEW Champion... As Champion, he needs to attack his critics and provide deep cuts to them. Show no mercy.
Quite scary how AEW just had their World Title change hands and that is NOT the lead story heading out of this AEW Dynamite show. Yikes!
NXT reportedly has another positive test from a wrestler... What should the WWE do?
Just do the usual... Keep their facilities clean, require masks unless wrestling, and quarantine anyone in contact with the virus or an infected person. COVID-19 just spreads like fire no matter how hard we try to social distance, keep yourself clean, and wear protection. Just the way that a virus that attacks the lungs works.
While the infection numbers and death numbers are rising, thanks to this usual Cold & Flu season spreading to more people confined indoors, the statistics remain the same. Anyone under 55 has just over 99.8% chance of easily surviving this. The person that the WWE needs to watch out for is...
Are you OK with Vince McMahon still in charge of the WWE?
Of course... I just wrote an entire column about it which you can read by clicking here.
The nature of the question was with regards to Vince's Survivor Series 2020 appearance. To me, he didn't look well... He was thinner than ever and his skin was paler than ever. Something might be wrong that we're not aware of. Vince McMahon is 75 years old, yet his dad passed away at 69 due to pancreatic cancer. While Vince outlived his dad, genetics often follow similar patterns among close relatives.
At age 75, most are relaxing in their homes and on vacation property OR are in Nursing Homes... Not Vince McMahon, who is still working his hard schedule to oversee RAW, Smackdown, and Pay Per Views will reportedly being heavily involved with the Creative Teams during both shows.
And if he passes, I predict that Stephanie McMahon becomes President/CEO and Triple H will fully takeover the live event function. Based on what we see from NXT lately, I really question if Triple H knows what he's doing to create a compelling wrestling product. I just don't know... Seems like the shift to a 2 hour LIVE show on USA Networks has hurt the product.
WWE fans should worry if and when Vince McMahon passes away. The man was a genius and his only problem now is being too loyal of a Dad to question the antics of his daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Triple H for their WWE contributions to Creative and Talent. He just can't properly evaluate the performance of those two.
Do you think that WWE could sell itself to another big company?
I believe that it could be easily sold... But who would want the hassle of operating a wrestling promotion? So many moving parts...
Some were suggesting that Disney might buy it and there's no way that happens. For one, they are losing money right now due to Parks and Theaters being shutdown and two, the acquisition of 20th Century FOX has strapped them for on-hand cash.
If someone were to buy the WWE, it would probably be Comcast because of the close relationship that WWE has with USA Network.
But I just don't see the McMahons selling, ever.
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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