Welcome to the WEEKEND CHILL edition of the Excellence in Column Writing brought to you exclusively here at NoDQ.com. Wow, some of you are really made at me for my bold wrestling opinions lately. Take my recent one regarding "The Problem with the Miz as WWE Champion"... I made very valid points such as (a) Miz has been a Midcarder for much of the previous year before becoming champion, (b) he has storyline issues because he acts like a heel on RAW but plays corporate spokesman and babyface on TV shows, and (c) WWE's Talent Developmental is failing to generate new younger stars and that causes WWE to rely on older veterans to be champions instead. All 3 points were backed heavily up with facts...
But of course, the usual haters jump all over me as if I'm just playing a heel character and am purposely trolling people with each column. WRONG. I have a 22+ year of history that proves when it comes to wrestling opinion, I have a backbone of steel. This "Mr. Tito" guy who keeps posting columns that irritates you? It's an ALIAS, not a character. What I post under the Mr. Tito name is 100% my opinion in real life. For example, I really believe that WWE's Talent Developmental program is a weakspot and I illustrated that by showing how poorly former NXT Champions signed by Triple H have performed on the Main WWE roster. Finn Balor is a Cruiserweight, Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura had too much mileage, we can't find Adrade anywhere right now, Keith Lee is struggling right now, and while I like Kevin Owens, WWE has already tried everything with the guy. It's my opinion that Triple H lacks the scouting department that both Jim Ross and John Laurinaitis had and he's failing Male wrestlers at the Performance Center with Matt Bloom as the head trainer.
It's not like I'm spewing venom or pure hatred. If you read my Miz column, you'll see that I praised the talents that he actually has. The issue is HOW MIZ IS PRESENTED... He's a corporate shill and does everything that WWE Creative wants him to do. The brief times where he put his own personal touches on the storylines, such as shooting on Daniel Bryan for "Talking Smack" during 2016 or heavily mocking John Cena (with Maryse killing it as Nikki Bella) during 2017, were the times that Miz looked the best. But then the WWE goes back to forcing him to be a company guy, through and through. Same thing with Triple H... I give him heavy praise for the Women's Division and props for hiring Sara Del Rey. Based on the FACTS that I've presented, he's failing the MALE side of WWE's Talent Relations and again, just look at who wins World Championships in the WWE. Jim Ross and John Laurinaitis signings with WCW's Bill Goldberg on occasion.
Some of you need to actually READ THE COLUMNS and NOT react to the TITLE of the column. The title of the column is the hook but the posted column inside that link might not be what you think... Again, I did NOT trash the Miz's integrity or call him a "loser" for winning the WWE Title. No, I was FAR MORE CRITICAL of the WWE system than I was of Miz as the person. The WWE system remains to be the biggest problem and Vince McMahon trusting his son-in-law to do a good job with developing Male Superstars at the Performance Center and NXT remains problem #1 for the WWE. When Triple H fails to groom a potential main eventer, it causes Vince to rely on older hats like the Miz, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, along with other Laurinaitis guys who have won the titles multiple times already (Rollins, Reigns, and now Drew McIntyre).
READ THE COLUMNS... If you're so blindly loyal to the WWE or AEW that you refuse to carefully read my points, then that's on you when my "early adopter" theories become the talking points of every other wrestling columnist, podcaster, or content provider. I believe that I'm 100% right on the Triple H point about his issues developing male wrestlers at NXT or the Developmental system. Eventually, disgruntled wrestlers who have left the WWE and have ZERO desire to return will open their mouths. Right now, everyone assumes that Triple H will remain in charge of the WWE if/when Vince McMahon retires or deceases. Most wrestlers like to somehow keep getting paid and ripping Triple H isn't a good idea to do in case you need that WWE money in the future. You heard a little bit of it with FTR on how Triple H repeatedly failed to live up to promises while they were on the Main Roster. More will come out, with time... Furthermore, the WWE's viewership numbers, merchandise sales, and when COVID-19 is over, their attendance will continue to decline to prove me right on WWE's inability to develop new stars.
Anyway, onto your questions...
ASK MR. TITO - Your Questions, My Answers
Should former MMA fighter and Star Wars actress Gina Carano consider joining the WWE?
First of all, for anyone sniping into this column through other search engine or social media means, I'm NOT breaking news here. I'm responding to a reader question... As far as I know, Gina Carano has NEVER had any discussions whatsoever to join the WWE. If you Google "Gina Carano WWE" together, you'll find the closest thing to that is Sasha Banks suggesting that they have a match. Gee, wonder why Sasha did that? Oh that's right, Sasha was in Season 2 of Star Wars: The Mandalorian with Carano.
If you were asking me personally should the WWE sign her, my answer is HELL YES. And then once you sign her, bring in former Ohio Valley Wrestling's Rip Rogers to personally train her on how to work a match. Gina now has experience in acting and appears to speak well for herself, so I would imagine the promo cutting ability is there.
The PROBLEM, though, is this... WWE has become a Politically Correct corporation and Comcast is much worse. She might be a better fit for Smackdown on FOX, as they tend to be more lenient on more political viewpoints. However, I could imagine executives at Comcast throwing a fit towards the WWE whom they've invested $2 billion for the next 4-5 years. You may also have Corporate sponsors who might fear that the online mob will pressure them as well.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, Gina Carano played Cara Dune in the 1st and 2nd seasons of Star Wars: The Mandalorian. She did an AMAZING job as this kickass female soldier who helped Mando (Din Djarin)and Baby Yoda (Grogu) on various missions. However, on Social Media, she would express her political views and also post political memes. Two very specific groups targeted her... Pro-transgender groups and anti-Trump groups. Anything she posted was scrutinized heavily and those groups were constantly harassing Disney and LucasFilm to "do something". With time, Disney has become heavily invested in left wing causes and political movements. I believe that their executives have guilt for all of the racial and ethnic stereotypes pushed in their past films or cartoons.
Eventually, Disney and LucasFilm caved into the Social Media heat particularly after sharing a meme that references that the Nazi government first convinced people of Germany to hate Jews before rounding them up and the meme questioned "how is that any different from hating someone for their political views". And that was it... Soon thereafter, it was leaked that Disney was no longer going to use Gina Carano for the Mandalorian or other upcoming Star Wars properties. Since then, Gina has become outspoken about her experiences with Disney/LucasFilm and has joined film start-up Daily Wire to star and produce her own film. Many loyal and pissed Star Wars fans have signed up as Daily Wire members to support Carano and intend to help push her first Daily Wire film to be a success.
The WWE Corporation has shown to be politically correct on what wrestlers Tweet. Several wrestlers, including John Cena, have had Tweets taken down after they were deemed to be "homophobic". They playground taunts, for the most part... And then you get into what Lars Sullivan posted on a message board from many years ago. WWE took him off television and only gave him a second chance probably because they may have seen a video that he "starred" in. In the past year, the WWE has tried to throw their support to Black Lives Matter. Meanwhile, the McMahons keep as quiet as possible on their support of Donald Trump and Linda McMahon, in particular, keeps quiet even as news breaks on where her Pro-Trump Political Action Committee (PAC) sends money.
I could see it going either way... McMahons personally being politically on the right might consider signing Gina Carano... But Comcast and Sponsors might see it another way. Good example to consider would be Tessa Blanchard. She is an AMAZING female wrestling talent and yet she cannot find work right now with either WWE or AEW. As a former opponent alleges, slurs were yelled at her and Tessa spat at her during a show. Other female wrestlers have come out to suggest that Tessa is a "bully" backstage and much of the "woke" Social Media are supporting those claims. Tessa, on her behalf, has heavily denied any of these claims and has been posting many pictures of herself working out on Instagram lately to show that she's ready to work. Both AEW and WWE freezing Tessa Blanchard out might be a sign of things to come.
BUT - Tessa Blanchard, with all due respect, is not Gina Carano. Gina was just in the Mandalorian, one of the most streamed television series of ALL FREAKIN' TIME. It singlehandedly boomed Disney+ subscribers to well over 90 million. There is some serious money to be made her and if not in the ring but with WWE Films. If Disney is going to block Gina from being an actress, she needs other rival production offices or smaller studios to provide her work. While the WWE may take heat, they'll have tremendous support from many pissed off Star Wars fans who will support Gina as an actress to "stick it" to Disney, LucasFilm, and Kathleen Kennedy (President of LucasFilm). It's worth the risk, in my opinion...
At the end of the day, folks, we're getting wrapped up in words or memes posted on an electronic medium. 20 years ago, we laughed when someone posted something that we all disagreed on. Now, we cancel them. Sorry, but I LOVED the 2 seasons of the Mandalorian and I'm PISSED that political drama caused Gina Carano to put the brakes on my favorite show at the moment. Seriously, WATCH the Season 2 Finale of the Mandalorian and tell me that you don't want more of that. The show is perfectly cast and was a ton of fun YET Disney and LucasFilm cater to political movements on Twitter for their hiring and firing decisions. Worse yet, what Gina Carano said was much lighter or at least equal to what other LucasFilm employees or actors/actresses have said online. DOUBLE STANDARD. Huh? What about the people who are subscribing to Disney+? What about loyal Star Wars fans who have financially supported the franchise for almost 45 years now?!?
Hell yeah I'd hire Gina Carano... If not for the ring, send her to WWE Films. Have her make a film about overwhelming and overcoming a corporation who caters to people with a specific political view and then punishes those otherwise. Oh wait, that might be too indicative of the WWE, Comcast, or sponsors...
Are you impressed with AEW's signing of Paul White (formerly Big Show in WWE)?
If this were 15 years ago, I would be very excited. The WWE has wasted this guy from Day 1 and gave him the worst name. The "Big Show". Just terrible. With the many heel and babyface turns while being unable to consider whether to push him seriously or as a comedy wrestler, the WWE has proved that they botched this 1999 signing. Yeah, 1999... That's when they signed what should have been a major superstar. Instead, they brought him in, immediately jobbed him to Steve Austin, and called him the "Big Show". And I understand that he's had some attitude and weight issues along the way... Being unmotivated by the work that you're doing plays into that.
He's 49 years old now and being a legitimate 7 footer, that's a much older 49 year old.
I don't know how much in-ring wrestling that they can get out of him... Maybe they are bringing him in to be a road agent backstage to help instruct larger wrestlers how to perform? I don't know... I just don't see him as the teaching type, provided that he once needed "retrained" after 6 years in the business. Early reports are that he's going to try color commentating on matches.
It's sad how the WWE misused Big Show. The ONLY time that he was pushed as a serious monster was during 2002-2003 when Paul Heyman was booking WWE Smackdown as a Brock Lesnar opponent. That's it... Otherwise, it was Comedy or working in the Tag Team division (I personally liked his teaming with Chris Jericho).
If he's still wrestling, I'd keep it limited... Maybe use him as a bodyguard type, much like Big D*ck Dudley was for the Dudley Boyz in ECW. Just come in when needed and Chokeslam anybody inside the ring.
He's just old with a lot of mileage on that big body. I know that he's in better physical shape than ever lately but that doesn't erase the years of carrying excessive weight on those knees while also taking bumps. In addition, cars, planes, and beds weren't built for large people like him in mind. Just the overall comforts of life probably make him sore.
I'm happy that he walked away from the WWE, though... WWE probably would have kept paying him a reasonable rate to still be used on occasion. After all, you cannot teach size to anyone... The sad thing is that he should have left 15 years ago while that body was still young. Instead, he just kept cashing those WWE paychecks (good for him, I'm sure that he's financially set) and allowed WWE Creative to devour him for decades. With Brock Lesnar gone by 2004, that would have been the perfect time to re-establish Paul Wight as the dominant force. Nope, it didn't happen.
I wish Paul Wight the best and I would LOVE it if he somehow did great in AEW. Father Time, however, always wins in the wrestling ring with only Ric Flair being the exception.
How do you think Wrestlemania 37 will shape-up for the RAW brand's WWE Title?
Ultimately, we're going to bet Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title. We'll probably have things stirred up at WWE Fast Lane and/or corrected on recent RAW episodes. But Lashley is peaking at the right time and in my opinion, Drew deserves an opportunity to wrestle in a big match at Wrestlemania in front of a crowd. Lashley is starting to peak at the right time with Hurt Business and Drew is a solid worker. If you put both hosses on a poster, that looks pretty good.
I just sense a multi-person match coming... I really do. It wouldn't surprise me if we had a Triple Threat with Drew, Lashley, and the Miz. Did you see the recent news report on the Miz detailing his relationship with Vince McMahon? What a kiss ass... Seriously, folks, this is EXACTLY what I was talking about in my recent column titled "The Problem with the Miz as WWE Champion". He's a company guy to the bitter end and that may give him a big Wrestlemania spot. All it takes is a slight pop in a quarter hour that he's on and the WWE will insert him into that match. FURTHERMORE, adding Miz can allow for the STUPID and IGNORANT Triple Threat rules of "first pin wins" to take over. I HATE the rules of the Triple Threat. It should be Elimination, NOT First Pin Wins!!!
And if Bad Bunny is added to that match to make it a Fatal Four Way, then the RAW brand is dead to me. I'm done... I understand that the Bad Bunny WWE shirt is selling really well right now, but do you think that is wrestling fans buying that thing? Anybody can log into WWE Shopzone and buy it.
Lashley vs. Drew is probably the match, with a slight chance of Miz being added for a Triple Threat.
Should Shayna Baszler be punished for her hard kick of Asuka?
Yes, of course... Sorry folks, but you have to be consistent. When Nia Jax delivered a potato to the mouth of Becky Lynch, everyone called Nia "careless". Well, obviously she is because Nia has a record of hurting people... But let's assume that Shayna did not connect with Asuka's mouth on that kick... It was STILL a HARD KICK delivered by Shayna Baszler. That is why Asuka lost a freakin' tooth to begin with. If anything, taking part of that to the mouth helped shield some paid that she'd have in her arms and ribs by taking that kick.
WWE has to punish anyone delivers stiff shots and it causes an injury. Period. If you take that risk to make something look a little more real than a normal wrestling rule, then you should understand the punishment if/when something goes wrong. Because if you don't punish those who hurt other wrestlers, you'll create someone like Nia Jax who can hurt wrestler after wrestler and not be punished. Oh, who is tagging with Nia Jax recently? That's right... Be careful about bad habits forming.
I'm going to use this question to pile on... I just don't see it with Shayna Baszler. I was never impressed with her work in NXT and I don't see her as anybody other than heel muscle that a babyface can overcome. Pushing her as the #1 wrestler would be nuts because at the end of the day, you need in-ring charisma and promo cutting abilities to connect with fans. She has neither... Thus, we have to focus more on her in-ring ability to overcome those two significant weaknesses and it's just not that exciting. Oh great, you can do submission holds and look tough. Congrats, I want to tune in to see more of that. I'm in agreement with how Vince McMahon is using Shayna who is yet another overhyped NXT talent brought to his roster.
Do you believe that Samoa Joe has any value to the WWE if he can return?
No, please stay on the sidelines Joe. You are a GREAT color commentator and with time, you can develop to an even greater one. Joe is 41 years old but that body is much older than him due to the mileage and injuries accumulated. He's been in the business for almost 21 years now and he had a tough 10 year stretch with the many amazing physical matches that he worked in Ring of Honor and TNA. Thus, when the 2010s decade rolled around, he was a few steps slower and out with injuries more often.
If he can make a successful comeback and remain healthy, HELL YEAH I would cheer him on. He was a great talent and made a big name for himself OUTSIDE of the WWE. Furthermore, the WWE kept his name when he debuted for NXT and was then promoted to WWE. That is respect... Ask Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, and others transferring in from other promotions if they were afforded that respect too. Nope.
You've got a great gig as an Color Commentator. Don't blow it. That would be like Tony Romo walking away from the CBS booth to join the Houston Texans as their quarterback. Why risk the punishment when the companies are paying you the same money, IF NOT MORE (Roman is making nearly $20 million!!), by sitting in a comfortable chair and talking about the sport that you love? Besides, Joe, do you really think that the WWE would use you appropriately? After you actually INCREASED viewership with your one-on-one feud with Brock Lesnar, did the WWE push you after that? Nope... Think about it.
What are your thoughts on Austin Aries defying COVID-19 safety protocols?
Remember what I said above with my Gina Carano question? 20 years ago, we laughed at people who said ridiculous things. Now, we give them a platform and then get outraged when they say things that we disagree with. If you ignored what they said or did, then the person can't outrage you.
Aries is outspoken about COVID-19 safety protocols and has even called for fans to "drop their masks" when it comes to autograph signings and meet & greets. First of all, good for him on still being a name that draws fans despite not being in any major promotions right now. But secondly, he didn't just become this guy overnight. Austin Aries has ALWAYS been outspoken and that's what made his characters great but also made him difficult for promotions to work with as well. You KNOW what you are getting with this man if you attend his Meet & Greet. As far as COVID opinions go, he has been advertising it for a while now. Don't attend Austin's autograph signing and be SHOCKED when he's not wearing a mask or when he tells fans to stop wearing theirs.
Very simple to understand... Let your DOLLARS speak for you. If you don't like Austin Aries or what he says, just don't financially support him. However, there are fans who agree with his views and like him as a wrestler. If they want to put on tinfoil hats and pose with him for pictures, that is THEIR choice. The venue that hosts Austin's Meet & Greet has CHOSE to let Austin do that event however he chooses. Just stay away from it and if their COVID denials upset you, then let them deal with the burden and guilt of spreading anything. Not you... Stay home, be safe, and support the wrestlers who share your beliefs.
What people don't realize is there is a difference between Cancel Culture and Boycotting. Cancel Culture is when you aggressively attempt to not only have someone fired from their employment, but blacklisted from their industry as well. When you boycott, you as an individual person, are just refusing to consume and spend money on a particular product or thing. That is your individual protest and if more people join that protest, that might open the eyes of a company. Boycott movements take time to build up steam and in that time, the person that you criticize can actually EVOLVE. The company can meet with said person and negotiate some corrective behaviors. MLW, for example, could see that Meet & Greet numbers are down and speak with Austin Aries to say "hey, please wear a mask and it's potentially hurting our business and what we can pay you". I bet that Aries will mask up quickly after that. See how that works?
At the end of the day, those who are fired as a result of Cancel Culture... Where will they go? They have to earn income to somehow have shelter and to eat. If their public image because of something they Tweeted is deemed "too toxic" to be hired, what do they do?
Be careful what you place on Social Media, folks... If you think that the Cancel Culture is just aiming for celebrities, you better think again. I have seen cases where employees who are Facebook friends with co-workers goes severely wrong. Always hilarious when an employee dispute arises and one of them has printouts of what a co-worker said on Facebook. Celebrity and Political culture always takes the lead on what the rest of America does. I believe that the culture is now in place that any past words, actions, or Social Media posts will be used by employees to exterminate a co-worker or used as a means of obtaining a promotion. Everyone should be fully aware of what they post online in their name and be ready to defend anything that you've done in the past.
Again - If Austin's COVID stances offend you, just don't attend his autograph signings. HOWEVER, he's still trying to earn a living and there are fans who somehow want to see him. Let them handle the guilt if they spread it while you remain perfectly safe by avoiding it.
What are your thoughts on the 2020 Wrestling Observer Awards?
Each year, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter polls their readers for annual awards. We could place aim at Dave Meltzer for his usual pro-New Japan/AEW and anti-WWE views, but these are his readers making the votes. However, I believe that many of his readers have fed into Dave's "Cult of Personality" and you can easily tell that whenever you DARE criticize All Elite Wrestling for anything.
But at the end of the day, this is a legitimate poll of a well known publication. I'm equally critical of how Pro Wrestling Illustrated gives out their awards, too. Ditto for WWE's stupid Slammy Awards. Nothing will ever fully agree with your tastes & preferences on things.
Here is a rundown of the 2020 Awards and I'm pulling them from this source. Thus, if there is a problem with me posting the newsletter's Award results, they can go after Wikipedia for publishing them first. Besides, various winners of the Observer Awards have been bragging about it on social media.
- Wrestler of the Year = Jon Moxley. I agree.
- MMA Most Value = Khabib Nurmagomedov. Sure, I guess.
- Most Outstanding Wrestler = Kenny Omega. Excuse me for one second...
Seriously? What has this man done for 2020 besides continually NOT living up to the 5-Star reputation that the Observer Newsletter itself has hyped up? FACT is that both Drew McIntyre and even Roman Reigns on a shorter leash did better matches and things for the wrestling industry than Kenny Omega for 2020. REMEMBER, this is the same publication that has already inducted Kenny into their Hall of Fame Class for 2020.
- Most Oustanding Fighter of the Year = Israel Adesanya. Sure, I guess.
- Tag Team of the Year = The Young Bucks. I actually agree with this. Been an overall down year for Tag Team wrestling, but the Bucks have had some great matches for 2020 that I enjoyed. I cannot disagree here at all.
- Best on Interviews = Eddie Kingston. Yeah, he's had a pretty good year on promos. Even in a shorter year, however, Roman Reigns has cut the best promos of the year since being a heel following SummerSlam 2020. But congrats to Eddie.
- Promotion of the Year = All Elite Wrestling. OK, let's think on this... AEW scored a new TNT deal for the next 4 years or so and that's a big accomplishment. They are also a free agent destination for many wrestlers disgruntled with the WWE. Does AEW's Creative botch a ton of things or maybe give too much independence to its wrestlers? Yeah... But are they as suffocating and bad in quality like the WWE? For the sake of continually creating competition and being a free agent destination, I'll actually AGREE on this award. WWE needs something to kick them in the arse and motivate them, maybe this Award could help do the trick? Probably not.
- Best Weekly TV Show = AEW Dynamite. I guess that I agree and only because Smackdown has only been better since the Draft when it PURGED Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt while pushing Roman Reigns hard as a heel. This is a marathon and not a short sprint, so thus, I can sort of agree with AEW. THAT SAID, WWE Smackdown from September to December was the BEST Television show for the entire year.
- Pro Wrestling Match of the Year = Kenny Omega/Adam Page versus the Young Bucks. I can see how many fans enjoyed that match as match of the year. I understand it, particularly with COVID causing a down year. Hard to create a great match without fans in attendance. I gave mine to Undertaker vs. AJ Styles, but I can understand criticisms of that choice because it was a cinematic match. I'm OK with this award.
- MMA Match of the Year = Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Sure, I guess.
- Best Box Office Draw = Conor McGregor. Observer lumps everything together. You cannot deny what 1 match can draw for Conor. I agree. The pro wrestling business declined during 2020.
- Feud of the Year = Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston. This one just didn't feel big on the AEW shows to me. I would have gone with Edge vs. Randy Orton in this spot.
- Most Improved = Britt Baker. Yeah, she turned heel and it was better for her. I thought that Bayley really improved during 2020 and became very effective as a heel personality to my surprise. I also believe that Roman Reigns significantly improved during 2020, too. He's now a legitimate draw and great wrestler.
- Most Charismatic = MJF. Sure... I believe that Sasha Banks deserves to be in the conversation and she had a GREAT 2020.
- Best Technical Wrestler = Zack Sabre Jr. Zack has won this thing since 2014 for this newsletter. Personally, I would go with AJ Styles or Daniel Bryan every year, but New Japan is more well known for their serious tone within their matches whereas WWE wrestlers have to be "Sports Entertainers" from time to time.
- Best Brawler = Jon Moxley. This type of match is all Moxley wants to do. Why not?
- Best Flying Wrestler = Rey Fenix. Yeah, I can see that.
- Most Overrated = Bray Wyatt. Yep, been saying it for years. For as hard as Bray has been pushed, he never delivers in any Main Event spot that he's placed in. Just a fact. And he has actually regressed as a worker since becoming the Fiend.
- Most Underrated = Ricochet. I disagree. He's a spot machine and always has been. I would have went with Brodie Lee here. He was continually misused by the WWE but then there were questions about how he was used with the Dark Order after he debuted in AEW. Slowly but surely, he made something out of his character as their leader and had some good matches down the stretch. Then, when he passed, it seriously shook the wrestling business. EVERYONE loved him and fans were affected by his passing. He made a bigger impact on the wrestling business than people give him credit for.
- Rookie of the Year = Pat McAfee. This had to be unanimous. Holy cow, he was good. Rip Rogers will go down as one of the best trainers of all time and why WWE/AEW are not tripping over themselves to hire the guy is beyond me.
- Best Non-Wrestler = Taz. Yep, I agree. He's an effective manager of a stable. I could argue MVP, but he wrestles from time to time.
- Best Television Announcer - Excalibur. Excuse me for a second...
Seriously? The shows in AEW were BETTER when Excalibur was off and someone like Chris Jericho stepped in to cover. Honestly, I'd go with Samoa Joe in this spot. He was great on color commentating and it was new to him.
- Worst Announcer = Michael Cole. Please. The guy has always communicated well while simultaneously promoting what else is on the show. He's a pro. The other WWE announcers who are all Michael Cole clones are far worse. This award doesn't have much credibility, as it gave Gorilla Monsoon this award from 1991-1995 and also 1985. FINGER OF SHAME to the Observer for that!
- Best Major Wrestling Show = AEW Revolution. I would gone with Wrestlemania 36 here. Not for quality, but for having the courage to still give us a show when everybody was calling for the WWE to cancel. Instead, WWE gave us 2 nights and they were overall entertaining.
- Worst Major Wrestling Show = WWE Supershow. Eh, probably... I remember one of AEW's PPV shows being really bad this year. But whatever.
- Best Wrestling Maneuver = Kenny Omega's One Winged Angel. This one is subjective, but Kenny's move here does look effective. WWE seems to going away from major finishing moves in favor of things like big kicks. Anytime that Brock Lesnar is wrestling, the F5 is the #1 move.
- Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic = WWE Firing People During a Pandemic. Yeah, I guess... My only thing is this... Hardly any of the WWE releases have made it elsewhere, thus proving the WWE right on who was released. The optics of when the WWE did this were terrible, but you could rip any Corporation or business for laying off workers during not just a Pandemic, but an Economic Recession.
- Worst TV Show = Monday Night RAW. 100% agree. 3 hours of pure garbage.
- Worst Match of the Year = Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt/The Fiend in the Swamp. Yep, I 100% agree, though there was a Cinematic Tag Match that the WWE did that embarrassed me as a wrestling fan on a Pay Per View.
- Worst Feud of the Year = Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt/Fiend. Nailed it, I'm impressed Observer fans!
- Worst Promotion of the Year = WWE. Yeah, just because of Monday Night RAW. And I might add that NXT has been so boring this year and Smackdown was terrible with the Bray Wyatt stuff before the 2021 Draft.
- Best Booker = Tony Khan. OK, let's take this one in for a second. For the WWE, you have Bruce Prichard and Vince McMahon with Triple H also calling shots. In AEW, you have Tony Khan with EVPs providing advice. HOWEVER, Tony was actually hands off until a few weeks into 2020. Remember how bad the Dark Order and the Nightmare Collective were? Tony Khan increased his booking responsibilities at that point and the emphasis on both groups dominating Dynamite went away quickly. For that, I commend Tony... Honestly, the booking on AEW hasn't been as bad as the in-ring stuff. WWE is the the opposite, the matches are better than the creative. Thus, I guess I'll agree here and it's mostly because WWE is just awful or dull right now.
- Best Gimmick = Orange Cassidy. Let's be honest here... If he didn't have this gimmick, would we care about this wrestler? Would AEW actually hire this guy? The gimmick is what actually brings attention to it. The issue that AEW had with him was trying to push him to be a top guy. BIG mistake. He should be a comedy midcard act and nothing more. Having him beat Jericho was a mistake and he's not been relevant since.
- Worst Gimmick = Bray Wyatt/The Fiend. 100% agree. Gimmick is pure shock value and not anything worth a damn inside the ring. Nothing but BAD MATCHES with that goofy looking mask on. By the way, I had to be careful because on Wikipedia, it had "The Biased One Dave Meltzer" as the award winner here, so thus I had to look this one up independently. Then because of this Wikipedia edit by a troll, I had to review everything that I've just written about in the past hour and had to make a few legitimate revisions. Damn you!
- Best Pro Wrestling Book = Young Bucks: Killing the Business from the Backyards to the Big Leagues. Man, what an ironic title! HOW IN THE HELL did Jim Ross's Under the Black Hat not easy win this? How???
- Best Pro Wrestling Documentary = Dark Side of the Ring, Owen Hart. I'm going to painfully disagree here. I love Owen, but the Last Ride documentary about the Undertaker's last few years in the business was amazing. Furthermore, the Paul Bearer documentary was incredible. I love Owen Hart, but the better quality shows were on the WWE Network.
LAST WORD: Honestly, besides the "Most Outstanding Wrestler" and "Best Announcer" awards, I don't have that many issues with the Observer Awards to my surprise. I was shocked at how much I agreed with this year's awards, besides a few here and there. The awards really point how BAD the WWE really is right now aside from the last few months of the Smackdown brand. Yikes... While AEW is getting some love here, they still struggle to draw above 850,000 viewers per week on Dynamite. But, they are still a young promotion whereas the WWE is the established one and they still suck.
You know, I thought that I'd be commenting on a few awards here and then I just spent the past hour covering many, many awards... And then when I realized that someone had already edited the Wikipedia Awards page, I had to rewrite parts. Seriously, someone had Kenny Omega winning BOTH the Most Outstanding Wrestler and Most Overrated awards while AEW won both the Best and Worst Promotion awards. Bunch of savages... If you were the one who edited that Wikipedia page for fun, you got me... But I double check things, so thus you really didn't get me in the end.
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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