Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING that is brought to you exclusively by NoDQ.com. Speaking of that catchphrase, you can get that on the side of a coffee mug, t-shirt, or hoodie at the NoDQ Merchandise Shop for the official Mr. Tito merchandise. Also check out the merchandise offerings from the rest of the NoDQ.com crew. All proceeds from the sale of any Mr. Tito merchandise are to be reinvested into the NoDQ website and its activities. I maintain my "voluntary" status and have since I started writing in October 1998. It would take the fun out of it if writing was just for the money and I care deeply about improving the wrestling business.
THANK YOU to everyone for their response to my latest column from 12/08/2020 - Why Do Fans Hate Chris Jericho Now?. It was one of my most reacted-to columns of the year since I officially joined NoDQ during August. Thank you very much, readers, I appreciate it.
But there was one reader that I was hoping to hear from... Back on October 12th, 2019, I wrote a column and part of it was praising Chris Jericho's recent work for AEW. I said, and I quote: "Chris Jericho still cuts the best promo. - Wow, man… People wonder why I keep banging the drum for CM Punk to return. Punk hasn’t wrestled since 2014 but can he still speak? YES HE CAN. Jericho keeps getting older and maybe his in-ring ability has deteriorated… But put a microphone in front of him, he’s still every bit as great as his WWE debut 20 years ago. This is why guys in their 40s can still thrive in the Pro Wrestling business while other sports are quick to terminate anyone who hits the age of 40. The promos keep the wrestlers alive, as the speaking ability is maybe 50% or more of how wrestlers get over. If you can’t cut a promo and effectively connect with the audience with your words, then why would they want to see you wrestle?". Here is a link to that older column, if needed: Click Here
As you can see from that link provided, I have the side-by-side comparison in a Tweet for what I said and how Chris Jericho responded to it. As you can see by the screenshot, he zeroed in on my "deteriorated" quote and even added a snide remark about Dave Meltzer still giving him stars at his age. Yet, Chris Jericho not only read that out of context, but ignored the lavish amounts of praise that my column actually had. In other words, in his late 40s, he could still be relevant because of his mic skills and personality which I'm quoted as being 50% of how wrestlers get over (probably more than that). He calls me out on Twitter and I'm bombarded with hatred from his millions of followers. It was ridiculous.
But when I give Chris Jericho major praise in my latest column from 12/08/2020 - Why Do Fans Hate Chris Jericho Now?, nothing from him or his loyal fans who attacked me back during October 2019. What's wrong, Jericholics, it wasn't good enough to dry snitch POSITIVE feedback to your Ayatollah of Rock N Rolla?
You're damn right that I'm bitter about this. I had to deal with all of his fans attacking me non-stop after he called me out for the "deteriorated" quote and when I praise the guy, neither his fans or Jericho even notice. Nothing at all...
And I'm the guy who has been PRAISING Chris Jericho since October 1998, first with Lords of Pain and now NoDQ.
That's right, I covered your last few months of your WCW career and it was me heavily bashing WCW management for poorly using you and not giving you a chance to elevate.
After your AMAZING debut with the WWE, I was the one who was hammering the WWE when they were actually jobbing you out for the rest of 1999.
Early 2002, I was ripping the WWE to shreds for (a) pairing you up with Stephanie McMahon and (b) making your feud with Triple H be about Lucy the Bulldog. Seriously, you fought over a Dog as the storyline for your Wrestlemania 18 Main Event. People often say that it's hard to follow Rock vs. Hulk Hogan but your match had zero chance to succeed.
How about your Wrestlemania match with Fandango? Why the hell did you lose that one, man? I know that you are a generous human being and will put over anyone, but that kid is back with NXT in the Tag Team division. I shredded the WWE for that bad creative decision, as Fandango wasn't ready for that Wrestlemania spotlight and to get a win over you. Why did you beat him just weeks later?
And now with my latest column with a 2020 full of people fat shaming you, ripping your political views, and trashing your in-ring work.
Whatever, Chris. You have a lot of loyal fans out there but yet you are too focused on any negative criticisms thrown at you. Why not praise the positive feedback instead pointing out the negative?
And I stand by my October 2019 comment... Nobody in their late 40s is as athletically gifted as they were from their late 30s or late 20s. Everybody physically falls apart with age but in pro wrestling, you just need a personality and mic skills to remain over. You've got both, Chris, and I don't see AEW getting rid of you anytime soon. You still have years in you to keep contributing to Pro Wrestling based on your personality and communication skills.
In case you didn't notice by the column's title, this IS a Question & Answer column... Onto your questions.
ASK MR. TITO - Your Questions, My Answers
Where will this AEW/Impact Alliance or Angle go?
First of all, CONGRATS to AEW for hitting 995,000 viewers this week. See, if you try something new, it can work. While I believe that Impact needs AEW more than AEW needs Impact, some talent sharing to freshen both places up won't hurt.
Ultimately with this Omega/Callis union, there needs to be more to it than just Kenny Omega winning the AEW Title belt. We've already accomplished that goal... We need something bigger like maybe Omega and Callis trying to take over AEW and try to, in storyline mode, push Tony Khan and the other EVPs out. Omega could surround himself with the best Impact talent to form a stable to help him retain that AEW title and also create chaos in AEW itself.
More importantly for AEW is getting Impact's midcard which is loaded with good Women's talent and Tag Teams. Those are the 2 exact weaknesses for AEW right now and have been from the start. You could have Omega teaming up with a strong tag team from AEW and several Women's wrestlers to clobber those divisions too.
Folks, I'm HAPPY for this union... I have my doubts, as Impact has not been a favorite product of mine for the past decade and I wonder if Kenny Omega's value is often inflated... But this is new, fun, and different. Just be interested and we'll watch!
What would be the best case AEW "Dream Match" scenario for Sting?
What you saw in the ring this past Wednesday. Sting vs. Cody Rhodes would tear the house down. Leading up to that match, I think that a Sting vs. Dustin Rhodes would be wildly entertaining, too.
Chris Jericho vs. Sting would be very entertaining, as we've never seen that match before despite both guys having over 60 years experience together.
I'm sorry, but Darby Allin shouldn't get the "rub" off of Sting. He is "billed" as being 5'8" and 180 pounds. That should be a Cruiserweight wrestler. It's bad enough that he beat Cody, who should be in contention for Heavyweight Champion, but to beat Sting too? I don't care if he's 61, Sting has tons of size on the guy and loads of experience to work him.
Other than Jericho and Cody, I just don't know who would match-up with an older Sting.
Who should win the 2021 Royal Rumble Match for both Men and Women?
For Women, the answer is obvious based on who wants to return. Charlotte Flair or Becky Lynch. It would be a good story to have Becky make a surprise return by looking fantastic and then regaining her Women's Title for the RAW brand (if that is where she is?).
For the Men... I'd have Brock Lesnar make a surprise appearance to win the Rumble and then, as a babyface, challenge Roman Reigns to a match at Wrestlemania 37. Easy storyline with 2 Paul Heyman clients going head-to-head but this time, Roman's character and wrestling style have greatly changed.
Other than Lesnar? Yikes... I keep hearing Big E's name thrown around in wrestling opinions, but in my opinion, he still has a little more proving to do on the SINGLES side of things. He just got out of over 5 years of being in a tag team. Other than that, choices are limited because we're all tired of the same old guys. 3 hours of RAW and 2 hours of Smackdown really burn you out on their entire WWE rosters.
What can NXT do to improve its product and growth?
I agree with Cornette & Last on their Podcast in that everything appears dark... Not just the arenas, but the wrestlers look plain and lack any flashy colors with their gimmicks or looks. Too many wrestlers these days seem like they were Goth kids when they were in high school.
Also, the names SUCK in NXT. Whomever is creating names there needs to be removed... Come up with simple names that roll off the tongue easily.
Theme music SUCKS HARD in NXT, as the lack of Jim Johnston has helped deteriorate the WWE's image for the past decade. Theme music within the entire product is bad. Remember we bought those WWE - The Music CDs? I believe that I had the first 6 of them, to say the least...
And I also think that the Talent Developmental model is off... Triple H as the person who signs the talent and Prince Albert as the trainer isn't working. Ditto for Shawn Michaels... As much as I think highly of Shawn as a talent, he's so naturally gifted that he can't explain that to the students. If you ever look at who becomes a Coach in a Professional Sports league, it's always role player instead of a top superstar. Top guys cannot communicate WHY they are great and because they were so intense and competitive when they were at the top, they cannot relate to anyone beneath them.
Sorry, but guys under 6 feet tall AND under 200 pounds should be stocking the 205 Live show, not being on USA Network for 2 hours on Wednesday nights. Until Triple H and the WWE realizes this, NXT will never take off along with my other recommended changes.
Say what you will about AEW and they share similar issues with NXT, but where they nail NXT is on PRESENTATION. The arena is well lit up, the lights are bright and colorful, and they have top guys that have some drawing power. NXT shares the ball too much, is bad on presentation, has weak coaching and booking, and is actually hurting the WWE main roster because they aren't creating taller stars for Vince to use.
Where will Tessa Blanchard end up?
It has become WWE or bust now... Her issues with Impact Wrestling, according to my source, were over pay. She had just become Impact's World Heavyweight Champion and with her contract coming up during 2020, she wanted to become paid like a top superstar in a company. Her request was either denied OR the folks behind Impact began tightening the budget bolts when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It's unsure if Impact doesn't want to pay or just won't due to COVID-19. Regardless, negotiations cutoff.
I'm told that AEW has a handful of wrestlers who are close to the female wrestlers who made allegations about Tessa Blanchard have been reportedly speaking up backstage to the EVPs about Tessa. Now that Impact and AEW have a working relationship, it is very likely that Tessa won't have a chance to work for AEW due to her former employer being there.
What my source has consistently said is that the WWE actually wants her but Tessa has major hesitation to return to the WWE, given how her previous NXT experience went. Reportedly, she did not like how she was used and felt there were a few opponents who could not keep up with her in the ring. If I were to guess, the WWE wants her because of a real talent need with Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch not being around and just the rest of the roster not pulling away (looking at you Carmella, Lacey, Peyton, etc.). The prospects of Charlotte Flair vs. Tessa Blanchard could be huge.
I still believe that there is a chance for Tessa in AEW, thanks to her Dad Tully being there.. But the inmates run that asylum more than they do in the WWE.
Who should Bill Goldberg wrestle next?
Apparently, he'll be wrestling Roman Reigns next at Wrestlemania. I just don't know about that match, as the quality won't be there. Granted, Roman is more experienced now and is working with heel psychology. Additionally, Paul Heyman is there and can help agent that match into something. But Goldberg is old and shouldn't be out there. He has seriously not had a worthwhile match outside of the Wrestlemania bout with Brock Lesnar which was perfectly scripted and Brock did a lot of selling there to make Goldberg look good.
Besides, Braun Strowman dispatched of Goldberg at Wrestlemania 36 and in my opinion, that devalued him bigtime. Braun was rushed into that spot and it didn't help either guy.
Look, I would try Matt Riddle at this point... The guy is BEGGING for the match-up and you know that he'll sell like a champ for it. Plus, he'll gladly LOSE to Goldberg to put him over. What Goldberg LACKS with the WWE are good matches besides working with Lesnar. If they put him in a ring with a guy who can properly bump for him, he'll look effective. Riddle seems to want to be a company guy and he could actually do the WWE a solid by making Goldberg look strong again.
WWE doesn't want Riddle vs. Goldberg because that suggests that any wrestler can freely get on Social Media and demand a specific match.
But yeah, I'd go with Riddle vs. Goldberg. Why not? Goldberg doesn't have much value right now to the WWE after the Undertaker and Braun Strowman matches. You just know that Roman will beat him, so why bother? The risk of Goldberg having a bad match with Roman on the Wrestlemania stage is too great...
Which promotion should CM Punk join?
Considering that he heavily trashed the WWE's system, primarily Triple H, after he left... I just don't see CM Punk being able to return to the WWE as a wrestler. If Punk were to ever sign a long-term WWE contract and Vince McMahon retires or sadly, passes, CM Punk would be trapped with Triple H as the manager of the WWE with full power. I would not want that if I were CM Punk, as Triple H carries grudges and would never forget anything Punk said on WWE Television or off of it about HHH.
Another option would be AEW... But if Punk wants a ton of money, could his salary be larger than the 4 EVPs in place (Bucks, Omega, Cody). I have argued that about AEW's salary structure from day one! And I could see him looking at the Creative of that promotion and thinking "God, what was I thinking?". He'd be great as a rebel joining AEW and we'd cream over the signing, but I just don't see it working out long-term.
If you want my opinion on where he should really go, it's Ring of Honor... Hear me out on this one... Punk was important to that promotion and helped give rise to them as a real force during the mid-2000s. Granted, his exit to join the WWE's developmental system (along with Samoa Joe leaving as well) may have hurt Ring of Honor's momentum back then and reportedly, they were ready to fold when the 2007-2009 Economic Recession hit. From there, Sinclair Broadcasting bought the company and saved them.
Sinclair has deep pockets and many channels throughout the United States. If they want to give one last run at making Ring of Honor successful, hand Punk a LARGE pile of money and give him the option of joining the Creative Team. Also, reach out to his wife, AJ Lee, to see if she has any interest working with the company as well whether that is a wrestling comeback or joining the creative team. SO MUCH TALENT right there between Punk and AJ Lee to have on the bench, it's a shame!
There are just too many roadblocks in the way for CM Punk at both AEW and WWE to make it fit for him... But Ring of Honor is an open canvas and Sinclair has the money to pay him. I casually watch Ring of Honor every week whether it is late Saturday or late Sunday on various Sinclair channels that I have. I guarantee that my eyes would be glued to that TV if Punk were on those shows and freely cutting promos.
Return home, Punk... Join Ring of Honor and ask for your pile of money from Sinclair Broadcasting. I bet that they would be willing to throw you a few million to help promote their product and Pay Per Views. Meanwhile, I'm willing to bet they would let you do what you want to do inside that ring. WWE and AEW won't.
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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