Welcome to the weekend edition of the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING where I answer your questions from Twitter, Email, and your Comments below and form them into a column. It's my "weekend chill" column, as my usual Tuesday/Wednesday efforts are focused on a singular topic with a little more intensity. I am currently in a comfortable groove writing 2 columns a week, as I mostly write them during the early morning before I take my kiddos to school and before work. If you have been with me for a while, my past columns could be posted at 1 to 3am in the morning...
Since I have this platform to thousands, I'm just going repeat my tale for my new audience that I've gained at NoDQ.com and maybe for some of my longtime readers who haven't heard of it... Thanks to college forcing me to stay up late for exams while also trying to write freakin' Daily columns as well during 1998-2004, I developed insomnia... Just a few years later, I had a few kids and late night feedings continued that insomnia (in addition to writing columns). Then, getting into more serious projects as work would either keep me up later to do extra work or the anxiety of completing that project would give me sleeping problems from the little sleep that I would get. Fast forward to 2016, and one of my parents became ill and in bad shape for months until ultimately passing. You pour that on top of trying to be the best husband/father that I can be, work getting intense, and then trying to write 2-3 columns per week... You question where does SLEEP get involved especially if anxiety is failing me (wake up covered in sweat during 2016).
And that's where my good buddy Caffeine came in... Drinking gallons of highly caffeinated Soda to keep me upright, particularly during 2016 when things became overwhelming to me. I was in my mid-30s by then and towards the end of the year, my heart would occasionally have big skips in beats... From pushing myself to consuming an insane amount of caffeine, I put my own physical being in bad shape. Throughout early 2017, I made it a goal to get off Caffeine for good, as I've tried to go Cold Turkey and it gave me awful headaches for weeks. So I began reducing my caffeine intake, day by day, and actively trying sleep better. Also took a stand at work, informing that my area of expertise and technical knowledge is needed by this organization and being pulled in many directions... So I received more staffing to manage and develop (my own OVW) and other resources to help calm things there instead of relying on me to put on a cape daily before it would kill me.
The moral of the story is this... For one, know your net worth where your working and if your expertise is being heavily relied on and you're a single point of failure when not present, then you have value to express to your organization. Secondly, Caffeine can be bad for you... Take it from Uncle Tito, that stuff will catch up to you. All of those energy drinks, soda, coffee, or whatever your caffeinated poison is, it will harm you no matter how healthy that you think that you are. Get better sleep, too... Force yourself. Cut off anything that provides energy like caffeine or carbs at 6pm and let your body become naturally tired so that you can get to sleep reasonably. I'm often going to bed at 10:30pm to wake up at 6:30am. Before, 10:30pm was when I'd begin writing these columns.
Be smart with yourself. It's FOOLISH to think that you're young and vibrant... The better you take care of yourself in your 20s and 30s, the more you'll feel like a 20 or 30 year old when you're in your 40s and 50s. You'll have a lot more fun in your life making it to 50 than maybe developing heart problems in your late 30s with stress and excessive caffeine consumption. Just study up how caffeine works... It acts as a nervous system stimulant and it causes your heart to act as if adrenaline was shot into it. The more you drink, the more that you'll cause your heart to beat. Simple as that.
Think about this... Many wrestlers of the past have died due to complications regarding the heart. This was usually blamed on excessive recreational drug use or performance enhancers, particularly steroids which grows all muscles (the heart is a muscle). Wrestlers back then liked to party heavily, too, and partying through the night took its toll if you had to Power Lift and/or Wrestle the next day. So, how did wrestlers stay awake throughout the day? How were they able to drive to the next town? Think about it... Lots of Caffeine being consumed back then. While it's been convenient to blame drugs or steroids for causing many wrestler deaths. there were lots of uppers and excessive amounts of caffeine consumed too.
Just saying folks... Be smart. LEARN from the mistakes of those before you. Those energy drinks and sodas are loaded with stuff, besides Caffeine, that can harm you.
Anyway, my name is Mr. Tito and not Dr. Tito... Onto your wrestling questions:
ASK MR. TITO - Your Questions, My Answers
What do you believe Paul Wight's surprise will be at AEW Revolution?
Sigh... This is why you DO NOT try to announce a "big surprise" ahead of time. Just let that new signing walk right in. Didn't AEW do that with Sting and all of us lost our collective minds DESPITE him being in his 60s?
AND saving this for a Pay Per View reveal, too. What are the ramifications of fans paying $50-$60 just for this surprise and then being severely disappointed afterward? Sure, AEW will get its money now but lose fans later.
They NEED to have a big signing here to reveal or else this could do long term harm. What do we know? It's a "future Hall of Famer" from Paul Wight and according to Tony Khan dropping a pronoun, it's a "he" (rules out Tessa Blanchard). To succeed at shocking us with a major surprise AND at a Pay Per View, it has to be a major name that moves the meter. Let me give you my tiers on who could maximize the most effective reaction:
Tier 1 - Industry Moving Signing or Controversial - CM Punk
- John Cena
- Brock Lesnar
- Shawn Michaels (but maybe too old)
- Pat McAfee
- Tessa Blanchard (but she is not a "he")
Tier 2 - It could be OK, but not industry shaking - Rob Van Dam
- Mark Henry
- Christian (isn't he under WWE contract?)
- Big Cass & Enzo
- Ryback (just for shock value to troll internet fans)
- Bully Ray
- Kurt Angle
- Batista (older, but loyal to HHH)
Tier 3 - Meh - Anyone from New Japan. Nobody, beyond Meltzer's newsletter subscribers (and even them) cares about New Japan.
- Paul Wight himself returning to wrestling.
I just don't see Lesnar, Cena, or Shawn wanting on Vince McMahon's bad side especially since that Gravy Train takes great care of them. AEW won't pay Lesnar what the WWE has been paying him, Cena needs WWE's promotional machine from time to time and to allow him to be part-time for acting, and I don't see Shawn Michaels betraying Triple H either. Pat McAfee, though... Maybe that might not be a "big" surprise, but he's certainly a guy with major upside that could help AEW if he decided to become a full time performer. This conversation with Cody is suspicious to me.
In my head, though, if it's not CM Punk, it's a letdown. HE is the industry shaking signing that AEW must have and must pay. He is anti-WWE persona and that's why his stupid FS1 appearances on the WWE show were disappointing. Thankfully, though, he didn't wrestle with the company and thus he could have major value to AEW.
As you can already see by the Jon Moxley storylines, New Japan is NOT DRAWING. Nobody but Dave Meltzer, his Observer Boys, and his most loyal fans care about New Japan here in the United States. Period, end of story. If New Japan was SOOOO GOOD with all of those 5 STAR MATCHES, then they would have drawn a bigger number on AXS TV. They didn't. In fact, their shows numbers were so non-existent, they did NOT even make the Top 150 list for viewership. Impact Wrestling on Tuesdays barely does with anything near 200,000, so what does that tell you about New Japan drawing on AXS TV. Fact is that NOBODY wants to give them another TV deal after AXS TV. New Japan's best talent could show up on AEW today and only the loyal AEW viewers would possibly care. As you've already seen in the WWE, Shinsuke Nakamura didn't draw much.
I fear that this is someone within Tier 2 like Rob Van Dam, Christian, Mark Henry, Bully Ray, Ryback, or Big Cass will get the call or Paul Wight will simply announce his in-ring return. I guess we'll be OK with that, but it won't create any shock value to cause additional eyeballs to appear on the shows. Aside from Ryback, much of the options in Tier 2 were once featured on WWE or WCW television during the late 1990s...
I hope that it's CM Punk. Damn it man, return to Pro Wrestling already. Go prove the WWE wrong. I know that AEW isn't the absolute best place to work, but you have leverage. They NEED YOU to take them to the top and thus will (a) PAY YOU and (b) GIVE IN to any Creative requests that you have. Hell, they'd probably take your wife AJ Lee and push her to the top as well. Why not? You know that you'd be successful there... Stop getting our hopes up and TAKE OUR MONEY. I'm a wrestling fan who is paying minimal on Pro Wrestling stuff right now but I've spent a good coin in the past on merchandise and live events. It's like a faucet... All I need is a reason to financially support GOOD pro wrestling and I'm there. My money will go where CM Punk goes, period. He truly was the BEST IN THE WORLD and then the WWE pissed all of that away from late 2011 through early 2014.
With all of that being said, I'm going to keep POUNDING THE TABLE on this point. Dave Meltzer and his "Observer Boys" are NOT reporting on any possibilities of who the "big surprise" could be. If this were a WWE show with a hyped surprise, we would potentially know who was signed already or who is appearing backstage. When WWE debuted Sting and brought back the Hardy Boys recently, they had them hiding outside in cars and in secluded backstage areas so that the Meltzer snitches couldn't see them and report to Dave. For AEW, it doesn't matter... Dave Meltzer REFUSES to report any insider information on AEW or their future storylines. Fact is that he did not break the debuts of Sting or Paul Wight... He's "in too deep" with AEW and probably consulting for them, for all we know. He's close with any talent who worked in New Japan or California Indies while his former Observer business writer is actually a Vice President in AEW. Hilarious NEWS BIAS on display here.
How did you think Shaq/Jade Cargill vs. Cody Rhodes/Rec Velvet went on AEW Dynamite?
It's as good as a well rehearsed match can be. Shaq did OK, took a big bump through tables and executed a Powerbomb quite well. Of course, Cody Rhodes, the most experienced wrestling veteran in the match, completely NO SOLD that powerbomb by Shaq. Many will argue "it was too early in the match"... OK, then why did a kick to the stomach weaken Cody "early in the match" to be Powerbombed in the first place? Fact is that he no-sold that Powerbomb by instantly retaliating on Shaq instead of selling the fact that a 7 footer Powerbombed him.
I thought that the ladies did OK... You can tell that both ladies have athletic backgrounds and in a short match where things were heavily rehearsed, they did their job. Looks wise, both look like legitimate professionals. With more training and experience, they could seriously get somewhere. I just hope that AEW listens to Jim Ross on how to develop and train wrestlers on the side, provided how well he did it through 2004 with Ohio Valley Wrestling.
AEW scored a number above 900,000 but as it turns out, the average viewership number was heavily influenced by Shaq drawing above 1 million with his first ever match on AEW. I guarantee that if you tried to wrestle Shaq again, it wouldn't draw as well because the novelty is gone. The FACT is that this match drew above 1 million and the rest of the show didn't (probably mostly under 900,000 viewers). You gotta give Vince Russo credit lately on his podcasts... He is always saying that when AEW does these short-term gimmicks, it causes new viewers to watch the rest of AEW's programming and it's not good. Bad storylines, pushing many under 6 feet tall & less than 200 pound wrestlers, and disappointing with Kenny Omega as champion (which isn't helping Impact's viewership lately).
You need to be ON THE RISE when you do these gimmicks... Such as Mike Tyson during early 1998. WWE was on the brink of breaking out with Stone Cold Steve Austin and just needed a little push. WCW during mid 1996 assembled an amazing talent roster and they just needed a push, the threat of a 3rd man joining the New World Order. AEW has actually been trending downward for the start of 2021, as demonstrated in my last column, and the novelty of Shaq appearing will disappoint most who even dared to watch the rest of the show.
HUGE MISTAKE by starting off AEW Dynamite with this show instead of it being the Main Event. Look at your Main Event... Adam Page/John Silver vs. Matt Hardy/Marq Quen. Huh? Nothing against those guys, but you're not drawing a number that CODY RHODES could, let alone the novelty of Shaq, a former NBA great, wrestling his first ever match on live television.
"Booker of the Year", eh Tony Khan?
What are your thoughts on the passing of Jim Crockett Jr.?
Being honest here, I only began watching NWA as it was morphing into World Championship Wrestling (WCW) during late 1988. By the time I began watching it, the promotion was already sold to Ted Turner and Jim Crockett was OUT (they signed him up as a consultant, but apparently never used him according to Jim Cornette and Ric Flair). THAT SAID, I was watching Crockett's empire on fumes throughout 1989 and 1990 as Jim Herd was beginning to make cosmetic changes to the promotion. If there was ever a major achievement to speak of for Jim Crockett, it's the presentation of Ric Flair. Thus, if you watched during the late 1980s, you got to enjoy the fruits of Crockett's labor by letting Flair become one of the biggest stars ever and always pushing him as a top guy.
But then if you look back on pre-1988 stuff... Damn it was good. Great Main Events always, the best Tag Team Wrestling that you'll ever see, and the most raw presentation of pro wrestling ever. It looked REAL which is a complete contrast on what Vince McMahon was trying simultaneously. Hence, why Vince found Jim Crockett to be his biggest threat and helped cause Herd to sell to Turner. Vince tried to steal all of his talent, even when attached to a big event, and Vince really screwed with Crockett's early Pay Per View money. Starrcade WAS a Thanksgiving tradition until Survivor Series 1987 was invented out of thin air, for instance.
In my mind, if there is anything that Jim Crockett did that had long-term ramifications was NOT selling to Vince McMahon. Instead, he sold to Ted Turner. While Turner fumbled the ball repeatedly from 1988 through 1995, when he got the right guy in place (Eric Bischoff) who eventually made WCW cost-effective and had the right creative vision, WCW began booming from 1996-1998. Sadly, that didn't last long... But without Jim selling to Ted Turner, the wrestling business would have been much different and we wouldn't have seen competition booming the business during the late 1990s. For that, I really praise Jim Crockett.
I always enjoyed the "Crockett Cup" 1988 of Tag Team wrestling where Sting/Lex Luger actually defeated Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. You'll have to understand the emotions of the situation, as Sting and Lex Luger were hardly in their primes and still learning the business while Magnum TA was at ringside. Magnum was in a bad accident that ended his career and the emotions of him getting involved to help Sting/Luger win was great. Watching this as a kid, this Tag Team tournament felt real to me and I believe that Sting/Luger really won a big trophy and $1 million dollars.
Should AEW punish Chris Jericho for having political or COVID-19 opinions that the public doesn't like?
No... When I hear anybody spouting any political opinions that I disagree with or find stupid, I just roll my eyes... I'm not looking to CANCEL them unless they are trying to incite a riot. Because Chris Jericho is a big Donald Trump supporter and has been exposed as such, anything he says is going to be heavily scrutinized by Left leaning media companies because Jericho is a celebrity and also by Left leaning wrestling fans. He has been taking darts all year for his COVID opinions, playing in one of the Dakotas with Fozzy, his Donald Trump financial contributions, having Don Jr. on his Podcast, and now for his wife apparently being in Washington DC on January 6th.
What I posed on Twitter the other day was this... If ANOTHER wrestler suggested what Chris Jericho did, would anyone take it seriously? All Chris Jericho literally said was "Agreed!" to a fan stating "Only 245 new cases in Nevada. Seven weeks ago, it was 2543. Time to open this sh** up.". That is all Chris Jericho said and Left leaning media outlets and Left leaning wrestling fans went NUCLEAR on Chris Jericho. Many Cancel Culture members spammed Tony Khan with dry snitching Tweets to bring attention to what Chris Jericho did. Meanwhile, many don't realize that AEW had no problems with Jericho playing with Fozzy during that motorcycle rally during the summer.
That said, if Tony personally feels that Jericho is out of line for any of his comments or political leanings that he feels hurts the presentation of AEW, I'd expect him to do or say something. He hasn't... I'm sure that Tony sees the numbers that Jericho still pulls and realizes that a highly vocal political minority online isn't going to sway his business decisions on known commodities like Chris Jericho (hence why he won't give Tessa Blanchard a chance, not as much of a known commodity).
If fans themselves don't like Chris Jericho or Austin Aries, you have your own personal right to shift your money elsewhere... But to Cancel somebody for their words or Tweets is getting ridiculous. COVID is a touchy subject, I understand, as it has killed 500,000 people... But poverty kills people too, and these quarantines are denying many people work right now. It's 2021 and modern medicine, technology, and better communication can protect the most vulnerable while also keeping this economy going. The multiplier effects of everyone working at home is taking away from all of the businesses you frequented while at work or on the way to work.
But to suggest to Tony Khan that Chris Jericho should be FIRED for Retweeing "Agreed" for someone suggesting that we should re-open our economy... Go to hell, Cancel Culture. What if we found something of YOURS that we disagreed with and went to YOUR employer to have you fired? How would you feel about that? When the shoe is on the other foot, it never feels comfortable, does it? Before 2020, nobody knew Chris Jericho's politics and he's done nothing but be a great ambassador for Wrestling AND Music. He's one of the most approachable celebrities on the planet for fans. Why punish him during 2020-2021 for his political opinions?
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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