Welcome back to the weekend EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING brought to you exclusively by NoDQ.com and no where else. You will NOT find these hard hitting yet 100% honest, authentic, and factual wrestling opinions anywhere else! This is my "weekend chill" column as I take your questions from Twitter, Email, and the Comments section below and form them into written pieces for everyone's enjoyment. And damn, folks, Twitter has been BUSY as all heck for me lately... The Triple H column was very popular and on top of that, I poked a top NFL news writer in the ribs on Twitter for a previous take regarding the pandemic that blew up. Reading my notifications has become a full-time job!
But we're having fun and that's what matters... I joined NoDQ during early August and it's been 6 months already. How about that? I knew it would work out, as I already had established relationships and friendships with webmaster Aaron Rift and content provider Virtue. You can usually tell how motivated I am about being Mr. Tito and/or about pro wrestling by the volumes of columns that I write. Before, I was just producing 1 column per week but for the past 6 months, I'm writing 2 columns per week...
Anyway, I could string out the introduction but I'd rather get right into your questions.
ASK TITO: Your Questions, My Answers
What are your thoughts about the "My Hole" stuff with Nia Jax?
Good lord... It was funny, as that's probably the last thing that you'd expect a wrestler to scream after landing hard on the side of the ring. But at the same time, the bigger focus should be on the fact that she was wrestling a much smaller Lana in a Tables Match of all things.
In other words, look what her career has come to.
I guarantee that Vince and the Creative Team are looking at the memes created by Nia's screams and are thinking "hey, we have something here". Don't be surprised if the WWE morphs her more into a comedy wrestler than a serious one. Think back during the first half of the 2000s when the WWE gave up on the Big Show being a serious performer and started letting him appear as different gimmicks inside the ring. After all with Nia Jax, everything else is failing.
At the end of the day, resorting to a comedy wrestling should be a last resort and for her, she's earned it. She needs the tough love that both Mark Henry and the Big Show received during 2000 when they were performing poorly, had bad attitudes, and needed to greatly improve their conditioning. Sorry, but things are very obvious in the ring. Her fellow wrestlers are being injured by her own hands but also given her size, she's actually not that strong. I'd be willing to bet that Mandy Rose could lift more than her. Seriously... Nia is not that strong given her size and that has caused wrestlers to get hurt when he tries to lift them.
But of course, we all know why "tough love" won't happen. It's all who you know or are related to. That's sad because she's actually hurting her fellow co-workers with her inability to improve, lack of training, and poor conditioning.
Is it a big deal that Sammy Guevara left the Inner Circle in AEW?
Has anybody cared about the Inner Circle since Chris Jericho lost the AEW World Title? Seriously and that is with MJF being added to the group. Do you remember the fights we had with the infamous "Dinner Debonair" and how it would not help MJF's career in that group? Well, 3 months later, we were right.
Let's face facts. Sammy Guevara is 5'10", 185 pound wrestler. AEW has many of them who perform similar to Sammy. They do high spots, struggle with psychology, and have bad microphone skills. Dime a dozen right now in the wrestling world. So what that he left the Inner Circle.
When he hurt Matt Hardy badly several times, that's all I needed to know that this guy was a Midcarder 4 Life. When you are careless and hurt one of the boys, a veteran who will gladly take care of YOU inside the ring, then I'm done with you.
In short, it will probably harm him leaving the Inner Circle because that group gave him a purpose. Now, he'll be a singles babyface wrestler and he'll have no purpose other than being a guy who can hit a few nice spots every once and a while. However, AEW has many of those.
Do you have any thoughts on Butch Reed's career?
It's a shame to see anyone pass... He made it to age 66 and he was still wrestling occasionally as of 2013.
I only know of Butch Reed from his NWA/WCW work, as I didn't become a wrestling fan while he was working in Mid South or WWE. We saw him briefly as a midcard singles talent and then all of the sudden, two jacked up black guys appear under masks as "Doom". The other larger black wrestler at the time was Ron Simmons. With both guys disappearing suddenly from the midcard as singles wrestlers, everybody knew who was under those masks. And then they were unmasked and they continued as Doom together. One of the coolest and best tag teams of all time, in my opinion.
Other than Doom, I really don't have many memories of Butch's career.
The thing I liked about Doom is that they were legitimately intimidating due to their size and the way they carried themselves. The Ron Simmons that we'd love in the APA began forming here with the Doom team. On top of that, they were managed well first by Woman and then a referee turned heel in Teddy Long. Long proved to be a great manager and it started his career with uncanny microphone skills that probably nobody expected him to have.
My thoughts and prayers are with Butch's family at this time. From what I saw of Doom during the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was very entertaining in that role. RIP.
What do you think about WWE's "plan" to bring in younger viewers?
The "plan" is reportedly from WWE's Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan speaking with Forbes. You're already seeing the plan beginning with Royal Rumble and the appearance of Bad Bunny. Old Man Tito and the WWE's median demographic of 54 year olds might not like that, but to the younger audience who aren't trying WWE products, that might appeal to them. Khan was talking about bringing in female music talent Cardi B as well.
Is that really different from the Mtv "Rock N Roll Wrestling" stuff we saw during 1984-1985 involving Cyndi Lauper? Problem is that the WWE doesn't have major stars like a Hulk Hogan or Roddy Piper to interact with today's celebrities. The draw will be very short-term to see the celebrity and then the fans will move onto the next things. That's what Nick Khan doesn't realize... Right now, his focus is on short-term gimmicks to make money short-term without realizing the LONG-TERM DAMAGE performed by having an idiotic Creative Team and a very weak Talent Developmental system under Triple H.
The other part of their plan to bring in younger viewers is "re-evaluating our entire gaming strategy". I can agree with that. A GOOD WWE game could cause a lot of video gamers to potentially try the product or it allows for cross-promotion. The last few 2K Sports games have been TERRIBLE and both WWE & 2K Sports need to own up to that. WWE Battlegrounds was a cheap non-wrestling game while the last 2K WWE game was rushed without quality control. Then, think about how badly you LOST Nintendo Switch owners with the entire WWE 2K18 debacle. You DO NOT have to give us an annual game... Make a unique game every so often and provide updates/DLC to that to freshen it up. Wrestling games sold more when they were unique experiences instead of annual ones.
And I also think Khan is referring to Third Party streaming services like Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and other places with the "gaming" strategy as well. He probably realizes how badly they messed up on clamping down on the wrestlers that year. Yet, he also realizes how much money can be made by WWE talent with subscriptions, Super Chats, ads, bits, and donations that can occur during streaming. I've been following the video game speedrunning scene for about 8 years now and I'm well aware of the living that people can actually having just by streaming on Twitch or YouTube.
I think Nick is doing what he can as an outside consultant who was hired as a major officer of the WWE. Obviously, the WWE Network deal with Peacock probably has his fingerprints on it. But until he gets into Vince's ear and suggests things about improving Creative or how Talent is recruited, signed, and developed, things won't internally improve within the WWE. They'll have to keep relying on short-term gimmicks and being hopeful that bigtime Cable/Satellite companies will be desperate enough to give them money. In 5 years, there will be more streaming services and fewer Cable/Satellite services. That big pile of money might not be there, as offered by Comcast, in 4 years when their next TV deal is up. Ditto with FOX who has a major $2.6 Million lawsuit pending against FOX News regarding comments made on voting machines. If that breaks the well on how any on-air opinions can result in major lawsuits, that will dry up profits quickly within the FOX corporation.
Should Edge consider challenging Finn Balor for the NXT Title for his Rumble cash-in?
Are you out of your minds for asking that question? That would be like a top major league player challenging a Double A player to a homerun derby or something. No thanks.
Now, if you compare that to last year's Rumble winner in Charlotte, there is no comparison. In terms of athletic talent, toughness, and the ability to put on good matches, there isn't much marginal difference between NXT Women and WWE Women. Period. They were ALL trained by Sara Del Rey at the Performance Center/NXT. Sara gets her talent ready to work almost immediately and what she's doing is creating instant superstars. Though I did not like the Wrestlemania 36 match (too much leg selling by Rhea Ripley, she looked awkward doing it), Ripley looked the part and was a star emerging for NXT. It made sense, particularly as Charlotte has pretty much "been there and done that" with ALL superstars on the WWE roster at the time.
However, there is a HUGE talent gap between the WWE roster and the NXT one particularly when you have Edge winning your Rumble. He's an all time great who appears to be performing exactly as he did in his prime. Sorry, but Drew McIntyre and especially Roman Reigns are miles ahead on drawing power than Finn Balor. Finn Balor repeatedly fumbled the ball when he was on the main roster. Every time they gave him an opportunity to cut a promo, he was completely unable to speak and communicate why he should be great on a WWE roster with much larger wrestlers. Someone like Daniel Bryan, for example, can explain himself on the microphone... Finn can't and that's why you saw him get demoted to NXT.
Edge would be OUT OF HIS MIND to wrestle Finn Balor at Wrestlemania 37. Now, if he wants to wrestle Finn Balor in the future at another Pay Per View or even a Takeover, that's perfectly acceptable.
But if you win that Rumble as a male wrestler, don't waste your time in the minor leagues. Challenge the biggest fish in the pond and currently, that is Roman Reigns.
Everyone keeps asking "what would Edge gain to wrestle Roman?". Simple. Just have a GREAT MATCH with Roman Reigns. Aside from being carried by AJ Styles and one fateful Hell in a Cell match with Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns does NOT have any great matches under his belt nor has he ever been considered for a "Match of the Year" candidate. That is DESPITE wrestling all time greats like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Triple H, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and the Undertaker and most of those matches weren't great. If Edge were to pull off a 4-5 star match with Roman Reigns at a freakin' Wrestlemania, he'd be legendary. Then after pulling off a great match, WWE management will give him FULL RESPECT to wrestle whomever he wants.
You won't have a great match with Finn Balor. He's a spot machine, lacks psychology, and Edge would tower over him in size.
What are your thoughts about this week's LOW AEW and NXT Viewership?
According to the numbers, AEW had 741,000 viewers and NXT had 558,000. Just terrible. It goes to prove that the WWE audience of RAW around 1.7 million and Smackdown of around 2 million has ZERO interest in tuning in for wrestling on Wednesday night. Both have rosters full of smaller guys and either dull or confusing booking. It's time to face facts... Tony Khan + 4 wrestlers as EVPs isn't working and Triple H's NXT system is getting exposed by forcing it to do 2 hour shows each week. Who wants to watch Takeover this weekend after already enduring 2 hours of NXT earlier this week?
And then you have dishonest wrestling marks trying to blame "political coverage". Well, what about the weeks that didn't have an Impeachment trial? I can go back to LATE 2019 before the Election stuff started rumbling and BOTH AEW/NXT were UNDER 1 Million viewers each. They were both consistently under 1 million with the one-time exception of when NXT was pre-empted during 2020. Though there didn't exist 3 Cable News channels during 1998-1999, I'm pretty sure that CNN's ratings and the very early days of FOX News were "off the charts" for the Clinton Impeachment trial and the political aftermath. Did you hear WWE RAW or WCW Nitro complain? No, they were too busy pulling in 5-6 million viewers each.
Let's use the "Observer Boys" argument against them... Even if political content is pulling wrestling fans away, what is to say if AEW or NXT were any good, it wouldn't matter? If AEW or NXT had quality storylines or a top level draw, they wouldn't be so easily distracted by hearing the same political talking heads scream at each other each night on CNN, FOX, Newsmax, or MSNBC (among others). The FACT is that RAW and Nitro had each other as ratings threats from 1996-2001. On top of that, Monday Night Football was actually on ABC during the late 1990s which meant WAY HIGHER viewership than what ESPN is receiving today. Seriously, Monday Night Football could push well above 20 million viewers back then on a broadcast channel. Now, it's lucky to break 10 million.
The FACT is that AEW Dynamite and the NXT show are JUST NOT THAT GOOD. Period. Storylines are illogical, dull, or dumb while the talent is not being positioned or groomed properly to succeed. Look at Miro right now and that's all you need to know. He was a wrestler whom everybody thought was used poorly in the WWE as Rusev and what happens to him in AEW? He's singing "What is Love" in a Wedding Angle on AEW Dynamite while also feuding with someone over a broken video game. *face palm* Miro is the hot signing that AEW could have capitalized on but they fumbled the ball on him from day one.
Just remember... TNA Wrestling during the mid to late 2000s on SpikeTV, which is in way fewer homes than TNT or USA Network, averaged 1.5 million viewers per show and that was considered a "failure" by the "Observer Boys". The perception, and even I have fallen for it, was that Vince Russo's tenure as Creative Lead in TNA was a failure when by comparison AEW or NXT, it was a major success that hasn't been given proper credit.
Furthermore on this week's ratings numbers... How can one brag about how "great" the 18-49 Demographic is for AEW Dynamite when most of the 24/7 Cable Channels were pulling in the 50+ Demographic strongly? THAT is who was watching the Impeachment News Coverage.
Everyone needs to QUIT making excuses about AEW and NXT's poor performances on Wednesday Night. If it's not politics, then it's a playoff game. If it's neither of them, well, everybody is streaming something. BS! GOOD QUALITY WRESTLING WILL GET WATCHED NO MATTER WHAT ELSE IS AVAILABLE TO WATCH, damn it! Again, ask Monday Night RAW or WCW Nitro during the late 1990s. They had Monday Night Football on a stronger ABC Channel. They had each other as cut-throat competition. During 1996-1998, they had this amazing NBA player named Michael Jordan who won 3 straight championships. Freakin' RAW would get pre-empted by a Dog Show or US Open Tennis. Yet, WWE or WCW NEVER complained about excuses because they pushed Top Drawing Superstars + had great storylines to draw fans in.
The Observer Boys need to admit that they are "in too deep" with AEW. The FACT is that they never reveal talent signings in advance or reveal what was said at AEW booking meetings. Meanwhile, they reveal everything said backstage at WWE events. Additionally, Dave is obsessed with anyone who touches the New Japan promotion, hence why he thinks Kenny Omega is God and the Young Bucks are the best tag team ever. On top of that, Meltzer helped get his former finance writer of the Observer, Chris Harrington, a job at AEW as VP of Business Strategy. If you want to talk about news bias on 24/7 Cable News networks, we have bias to the extreme within the top news reporting publication.
AEW cannot consistently draw above 800,000 viewers right now because they aren't any good. Talent isn't getting over and storylines are confusing or inconsistent. NXT does not have any talent getting over and the storylines are dull. Didn't I write a column recently about that? Many of you tried to blame Vince but he's very hands-off on the NXT promotion and Triple H's developmental system. NXT struggles to ever get above 650,000 viewers right now.
Why are you so negative?
Why are you so negative towards me as a reader? That's my question back to many who verbally attack me for simply posting my opinions on the wrestling business.
Let's look at facts: Since mid 2000, the WWE has lost more than 5 million viewers of Monday Night RAW and possibly 5,000 to 10,000 fans per show at a live event (depends where it is at). Just since 2015, RAW has lost over 2 million viewers and before the pandemic hit, they were cancelling Houseshows here and there. WWE merchandise sales have been declining heavily since John Cena left. Then you look at AEW... Started off with 1.4 million and have barely scraped above 1 million ever since. Right now, 850,000 viewers is their cap and they've been really pushing below 800,000 lately. Before the pandemic hit, they were struggling to fill seats in 5,000 seat arenas.
If I'm sooooooooo negative, then why don't you blame all of the fans who STOPPED WATCHING instead of me? At least I'm still hanging on and participating as a fan. Furthermore, I don't just criticize... I advise. If you read my columns, they are full of advice on how to IMPROVE WWE or AEW. I don't just rip those promotions for the sake of it... I want them to improve and I provide my opinions on how to improve. Take the recent Triple H column that many readers slammed me over... Did I rip Triple H personally? Did I feel that he needed to be terminated? No, I stated FACTS that not many of his NXT signings have become World Champion and that none of them are drawing like Jim Ross or John Laurinaitis's wrestlers. FACTS. Simple suggestion is that maybe WWE is spreading him too thin by having him oversee Live Events, NXT as a promotion, Talent Relations, and the Creative Team.
And if you read my recent column about "are WWE wrestlers soft today", which was a response to what Undertaker and Mark Henry recently said, I gave valid points as to why WWE's culture of developing and managing talent is much different now than before. I didn't fully agree with Undertaker's points but explained what is happening. Then at the end of the column, I gave advice on how to improve the perception of the current WWE wrestlers.
While all of YOU were bashing Chris Jericho and piling onto to NBA fans criticizing his physique, who stood up for Chris Jericho? Oh yeah, that was me... I even defended Vince McMahon for an entire column recently while the rest of the internet tries to scapegoat him for everything.
So don't give me your crap about "Tito is negative". You just cannot take that I occasionally criticize your favorite wrestlers or promotions. Your skin is too thin! At the end of the day, I'm just a guy calling himself "Tito" and posting wrestling opinions which you don't have to click into... Getting worked up about what I say is ridiculous, especially since you can go to any Reddit forum, any version of Social Media, or anywhere else online and see MUCH more negative opinions of WWE or AEW. I can show any of the haters, if needed...
But again, I just don't criticize... I advise. Pick a column down below and see. The WWE Job Application one is full of great ideas that would improve the WWE instantly, if tried. I even made a YouTube video for NoDQ that highlighted the positives of wrestling right now.
So whatever... If you think that I'm negative, that's your problem. I'm still going to bring the thunder (or chunder) for each and every column. At the end of the day, I'm just 2 columns on NoDQ's Opinions sections that you have a choice to click or not. I keep my columns clean of any vulgarity and try to be professional...
Like I said, if you think that I'm negative, then maybe you ought to look at your own opinions on everything to see if you're maybe overly critical yourself?
And many of you just read the Headline of my column posted on Social Media and go instantly into Attack Mode. You gotta read the columns, bro... I take careful time to construct a good title just to spark curiosity. Read the damn column from start to finish, as I pack a ton of great points and facts in each one, and then come to a conclusion. Don't just half-arse skim my stuff or assume anything based off the title. Don't be a lazy hater.
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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