Your weekend EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING has returned with more answers to your questions as submitted via Twitter, Comments, or Email. I hope that all is well with everyone reading this and that everyone is having a great Holiday Season. If you sense that someone you know isn't having a good reason, put your arm around them... Most people just want someone who cares about them and the Holiday season can be tough for many.
This shall be the last "Ask Mr. Tito" column for the year, as I shall reserve next weekend's column spot for my Annual PREDICTIONS column. For those who didn't read my prior material at Lords of Pain for the past 10 years, I used to make Predictions columns but then I would also review and score the prior year's predictions beforehand as well. I usually stick a mini-Year in Review in between the prior year predictions review and the predictions for the upcoming year. It has been a highly successful column for me at the previous place and I hope that the NoDQ Army enjoys it being posted here this year. I will try to post that on 12/31/2020 at some point, if not 1/1/2021...
I am finding that Predictions columns are very difficult to do within the last 5 years because the business changes so much. Vince McMahon changes his mind often and with AEW now in play, it makes the predictions even tougher to make moving forward. But, I have fun with it and I really like the format of the column. I utilize the format of a financial guy who used to make economic predictions and I always give him credit each time that I write the column.
Otherwise, I'll probably have a regular column during the week... Since I have joined NoDQ.com on August 1st, I have consistently delivered the readers at least 2 columns per week with multiple bonus columns sprinkled here and there. I hope that you have enjoyed and we're only getting started here at NoDQ. Hopefully, we can continue to do more than just columns, as I'd love to defend my Debate Title Belt sometime or help produce other content. I do have an idea for a video series but it would command a ton of work on my end... We'll see. As you get older, your mind has all of these great ideas but your motivation becomes less.
At the very least, I haven't lost my motivation to write wrestling columns and away we go once again!
ASK MR. TITO - Your Questions, My Answers
What do you think about Tony Khan's appearances as the AEW owner on Impact Wrestling?
It's a joke. We should NEVER EVER see Tony Khan's face on wrestling programming, period. He should remain behind the scenes and shut the hell up. For one, based on his goofy promos with Tony Shiavone, he cannot speak well in a wrestling context. Two, he's not charismatic and thus looks like some guy on television. Three, him speaking on Impact ruins the angle that Omega and Callis are trying to run. Omega should be operating in a rogue mode and that should anger AEW management, not please them as seen by Khan's promos.
Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it! (George Santayana, 1905)
Has Tony not watched video of Vince McMahon since mid 1999 & beyond, Vince Russo, Eric Bischoff since November 1996, Stephanie McMahon, Dixie Carter, and even Triple H as owners/bookers also acting as on-screen authority figures? In many of those cases, stepping beyond the shadows to enter the wrestling spotlight has caused an ego trip of sorts.
If you think that can't happen to Tony Khan, then I guess you haven't seen him ego tripping on Twitter for the past year.
What BIG CHANGES do you expect the WWE to make in Creative?
Brock Lesnar is coming back in a big way, I predict. On top of that, we'll see more Legends appearing more often. You're already seeing a "Legends Night" RAW to start 2021 but I would expect that any older wrestlers wanting to come back as wrestlers, can, and any legends wanting to appear in any capacity, will. For example, if Edge comes back from his injury and can be relied upon, I see a big push from him.
Otherwise, business as usual for the WWE. Vince McMahon cannot see what's wrong with his promotion OR refuses to hold his family members, Triple H and Stephanie, for their damage done to this promotion. It's that simple. As history has shown us, BAD Creative can be overcome with GOOD Talent. Just remember how Batista debuted in the WWE. "Deacon" Batista as a bodyguard character for D'Von Dudley. Right now, the Talent Developmental system are either training undersized Indy guys or are poorly training everyone else under Matt Bloom. As I said in a prior column, Shawn Michaels is proving to not be a strong trainer in the WWE system. For him, he was so naturally gifted in the ring that it's difficult for him to explain that to students.
Until you improve that Talent infrastructure, you'll continue to decline... What can improve the WWE instantly is if they can find the next HUGE superstar. If you look up and down that roster, he's not there right now. Maybe SHE is with Rhea Ripley, but for male wrestlers, nobody in that NXT territory right now could draw as a top guy and the WWE roster is exhausted.
Thoughts on the 2020 WWE Slammy Awards?
In case you missed it on the WWE Network...
-Male Superstar of the Year = Drew McIntyre (impact no, workhorse yes)
-Ring Gear of the Year = The New Day (seriously?)
-Return of the Year = Edge (hell yes)
-Rivalry of the Year = Edge vs. Randy Orton (yeah, I guess... Been a weak year for rivalries)
-Female Superstar of the Year = Sasha Banks (yep)
-Tag Team of the Year = Street Profits (by default, as there are no tag teams in WWE)
-Match of the Year = AJ Styles vs. Undertaker Boneyard Match (yep)
-Superstar of the Year = Drew McIntyre
These are contrived awards, so whoopee. I still laugh at the credibility of these awards back during 2014 when Roman Reigns won "Superstar of the Year" after he wrestled HALF of the year as a tag wrestler and then for the latter half of the year, he was out injured for 3 months. In my opinion, that Slammy win was what ignited the HATE that Roman saw during 2015 for his Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania push.
If you're going to give Drew credit for his 2020, then you have to keep pushing him for 2021. I personally believe that he lacks personality and charisma to be that #1 guy BUT nobody on the roster looks like him. The importance of having a MANAGER could help Drew, as you've seen it help Roman Reigns this year and Brock Lesnar before that.
Winning Ring Gear of the Year... Man... That would be like me winning "Keyboard of the Year" for the Wrestling Columnist Awards.
Any memories of NFL Great and brief WCW performer Kevin Greene passing away?
It's nothing but a shame. He was only 58 years old with a Wife and 2 kids. Anytime I see something like that left behind, it hurts. From everything that I've read, Greene was a great guy to be around and highly talented. After all, he's in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I remember watching him with the Steelers and then continuing to be a force with Carolina. Little did I know back then was that he was very successful with the Rams before the Steelers.
I loved his WCW appearance during 1996 and it served its purpose... NOBODY saw that Mongo heel turn coming, as it was a pleasant surprise at WCW Great American Bash 1996. Sadly, the new version of the 4 Horsemen didn't matter because the New World Order was already in process of being unleashed.
Greene's successful appearance for WCW helped pave the way for WCW management to be confident that hiring Dennis Rodman to wrestle could payoff. Not saying that the quality of wrestling would be there, but their over-the-top personalities fit pro wrestling and they could somehow make it work.
RIP, Kevin Greene... You were awesome.
What are your thoughts on Ronda Rousey's recent comments about the WWE?
Ronda Rousey recently spoke with Digital Spy for any interview... For one, she revealed that she had a broken back, as she has a "bottom vertebrae in my back" that "is actually broken in half". That should keep her out from taking any bumps for any potential WWE returns.
The quote that I want to focus on, however, is this: "All I wanted to do between shows is lay down with my legs up and traveling you’re just sitting upright all the time and my back would kill me. So the actual act of traveling I do not miss it all, it was the absolute worst."
Keep in mind, she wasn't traveling with the company as others. While she did try some houseshows, her contract was for limited dates. On top of that, her contract gave her leverage help fix any complaints that she had (and she had many, reportedly) while also paying her quite well.
I've said this many times... She doesn't love the business or she doesn't understand it fully. Doesn't want to, either. Ronda has settled on becoming a WWE wrestler because UFC no longer wants her and Hollywood didn't prove to be a successful venture for her. WWE, however, handed her a big pile of money to "play" wrestler for a few years. When you have bills to pay, you gotta do what you gotta do.
My issue with Rousey is how she treats fans with disdain. They didn't like her babyface character and she took that personally. Instead of taking accountability for her own actions as a performer as to why it wasn't drawing cheers, she tried to label fans as negative and trolls. She is the "Brie Larson of the WWE", as Brie is very much hated by Marvel fans for her comments about white male critics reviewing movies. For both, I've heard the term "Resting B***h Face" used on both, as they both just look naturally unhappy and pissed all of the time.
Simply put, if the fans are booing you, embrace the boos and turn heel. It's Wrestling 101. It took the WWE 5 years to realize that Roman Reigns wasn't cutting it as a face so they flipped him into a heel. He's LOVING IT now because he naturally dislikes people and critics, too.
I just don't think that she's a big enough fan of the business to give another big contract. Maybe use her to formally put over Rhea Ripley, but remember that Brock Lesnar never successfully put over anyone when he tried. Nobody has really cared that Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins twice, or Drew McIntyre defeated Brock. Brock could still come in today and destroy everyone and that's the same feeling with Ronda. She was a former MMA fighter with a high degree of success and everyone in the WWE has been trained to just be a character. BIG difference on perceived toughness there.
I wish her well and if she were willing to embrace the hatred that male fans have for her, as they mostly didn't like the drama she always creates for herself through her comments or media appearances, her return as a heel could work. But she just appears to have way too thin of skin to make it work at this point. There's a reason why most successful Pro Wrestlers endure YEARS of working smaller shows before joining the WWE. That includes Brock Lesnar who endured tough training at Ohio Valley Wrestling. Ronda just appeared at the Royal Rumble 2018 Pay Per View and wrestled her first match at Wrestlemania. The hunger to be great as a pro wrestler isn't there when you're paid like a top superstar from day one.
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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