Normally here at NoDQ.com, I try to stick to a 2 Column quota... I write 1 column on a specific rant that I usually post Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, usually the latter 2 days... Then, for Saturday morning, I post my "Ask Mr. Tito" column which answers your questions sent via Twitter, Email, Comments sections below, or maybe a few other means in the future. I try to stick to the 2-column rule for my own sanity, as writing too much could burn me out or cause insomnia as it has in the past... I also want to space my writings out to allow for other NoDQ writers to produce columns in between mine. I have already posted my Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday column on Monday with Edge = Wrong WWE Veteran for Roman Reigns.
But today, you've tasked me... All I did was make a simple Tweet about how the "Supernatural never draws in Pro Wrestling" and I was flooded with responses from diehard WWE fans who bend at the knee for Vince McMahon's Creative Team. Also, another type of fan has clearly emerged and I'll get to that as this column goes on.
Sorry folks, but I'm just not into the ridiculous feud between Bray Wyatt/The Fiend (with valet Alexa Bliss) and Randy Orton. It's not that I don't want them to wrestle, but the theatrics surrounding this feud makes Pro Wrestling bad and isn't drawing for the WWE. Following a WWE Pay Per View in WWE Fastlane 2021 in which the Fiend, Bliss, and Orton had a huge angle during the Bliss vs. Orton match (seriously, say that one out loud... "Bliss vs. Orton match"), Monday Night RAW was DOWN in its viewership. Go ahead and give me "but but but NCAA Tournament" and I'll present to you that 2021's viewership is WAY DOWN from 2019 (the last time the tournament was held).
Common sense and Pro Wrestling's own past dictates that this Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt feud will fail.
Hell, we almost did something similar during 2017 with Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt. Do you guys remember that Wrestlemania 33 match? Remember when insects would suddenly appear in the ring? Then fast forward to WWE Payback 2017, the Pay Per View immediately following Wrestlemania 33, we had the "House of Horrors" match. You guys don't remember Bray Wyatt dropping a refrigerator onto Randy Orton, only to have Randy Orton somehow meet Wyatt at the arena after all of that?
The FACT is that we tried Supernatural HOT GARBAGE between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt during 2017... Why try it again during 2021?
Because the WWE has NOTHING for Bray Wyatt/Fiend and Randy Orton right now... WWE tried to push both guys towards the World Title and it just didn't take. That's a crying shame with Randy Orton, too, as he signed 5 year, multi-million dollar deal to keep him from joining AEW and WWE has almost 4 years left on that contract extension. Ouch.
In the case of Bray Wyatt/the Fiend, all of this gimmick stuff, the costumes, weird cinematic matches, and theatrics are all to cover up and mask one thing: Bray Wyatt is struggling inside the ring. Years upon years of injuries have already mounted on this 33 year old kid and I don't believe he's fully able to breathe in that thick Fiend mask. When you watch a Fiend match of the last 2 years, he is struggling inside the ring to keep up with his opponents. We have yet to see anything GOOD from the Fiend character in terms of quality of matches. In the past, he has several borderline "Match of the Year" candidates with his Hell in the Cell battle with Roman Reigns and then his pair of battles with Daniel Bryan. Not lately, however, and even against quality opponents like Randy Orton or Seth Rollins, it's been rough. WWE has been using the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to create Cinematic Matches and Bray Wyatt happens to be mostly featured in these to potentially cover up what is happening inside the ring.
In case you didn't figure it out yet, folks, Pro Wrestling is a scripted form of SPORTS. The object of Pro Wrestling is to have babyface characters and heel characters battling over World Title belts that signify being the best in the business. When you're not fighting over title belts, usually it's a heated feud between a heel and a face. Much of that can be easily accomplished with REALITY BASED storylines without the need of special effects or the production truck getting involved.
The more baffling thing is that we have a HISTORY of Supernatural stuff in Pro Wrestling NOT DRAWING. It's been a sideshow at best... Again, I already gave you the 2017 storyline between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. To this day, most wrestling fans mock this feud and agree that the Wrestlemania 33 match and the Payback "House of Horrors" match were absolute dumpster fires and KILLED the Smackdown brand's momentum. Smackdown used to hold around 2.7 million viewers from 2016 through early 2017, but now it was pushing into the lower 2.0 million territory. Adding Jinder Mahal to that mix solidified that downturn and actually made it worse.
Right now, many WWE fans are LAUGHING at the Supernatural crap that All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has tried with Sting's snow, Matt Hardy teleporting, and a ring hyped to blow up (but failed miserably). I agree 100%... AEW completely blew the signing of Matt Hardy by letting him go overboard with the awful promos and allowing him to teleport throughout the wrestling arena, sometimes in different outfits! But I'm going to hate on both sides trying this Supernatural crap, such as Bray Wyatt entering an ambulance and then exiting it as the Fiend. Come on, man...
What is that phrase that I have often repeated in my columns again? That George Santayana phrase from the early 1900s... "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Any wrestling fan opposing my Bray Wyatt/Fiend opinions always give me "WhatAboutisms" on other Supernatural stuff tried in the past and they always seem to bring up the Undertaker. Sure, let's have that debate right now.
What about the Undertaker? I seem to remember the WWE DECLINING in business from 1990 through 1997 and during the WORST years of those declines, 1993-1995, which put the WWE in ripe position for WCW to compete, the Undertaker was often at the top of the card. And what was he doing again? Oh that's right, getting thrown into coffins only to resurrect high above the arena... Then, you had a DUPLICATE Undertaker. Go ahead and watch SummerSlam 1994 for me. Tell me what you think!
The TRUTH about the Undertaker is that he had a GREAT 30 year career with the WWE. I'm not doubting that and I'm a big fan of his work. However, I'm reasonable... He was never the #1 draw of the WWE at any point in his career OTHER THAN when the Wrestlemania Streak came into play later during the late 2000s and early 2010s. With Undertaker pushed as the MAIN attraction during the mid 1990s, WWE's business was tanking and lots of Supernatural elements were pushed. The Undertaker would only begin improving when he started wrestling the likes of Mick Foley, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, and Triple H in serious one-on-one matches. That's a FACT... And when the Ministry of Darkness crap was pushed, Undertaker, HIMSELF, demanded a reality based character during 2000 for his return. In my opinion, the Undertaker was AT HIS BEST from 2000 through 2003 and was killing it in Main Event level matches during that time. The Supernatural stuff later returned from 2004 and onward, but the hype of the Wrestlemania Streak carried him after that. FACT is that Undertaker needed guys like Steve Austin, Rock, John Cena, & Brock Lesnar to pull the wagon as WWE's #1 draws while he could complement them with feuds or be a sideshow act.
The main reason why Bray Wyatt should NEVER be compared to the Undertaker is the simple fact that Undertaker ALWAYS and CONSISTENTLY had good matches inside the ring. You name them... His matches versus Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels (Good God on that!), Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Triple H, CM Punk, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, and Batista ALL DELIVERED. If Undertaker ever had a bad match, it was due to injury or old age. Even then, through smoke & mirrors, he could pull off a decent show. Last year's Boneyard match with AJ Styles was all smoke & mirrors and yet we all remember that as a highlight of Wrestlemania 36's dual nights. That match did have a mix of supernatural stuff, but it was primarily Undertaker and AJ Styles going at it with a real brawl.
Others are tell me "what about Papa Shango?"... Yeah, what about that character that lasted only 1 year and a half before Charles Right moved on to another character. Remember when he made black stuff come out of the Ultimate Warrior's forehead? We all LAUGHED at that back then, noting how ridiculous that was... Yet, when Randy Orton throws up black stuff during 2021, all of you flame me when I call that ridiculous too. Huh? How can it be stupid during 1992 but fashionable during 2021? The Internet Wrestling Community's priorities are screwed up.
Look at World Championship Wrestling (WCW) during 1996... Uncensored 1996 Pay Per View was a complete DISASTER with a Doomsday Cage Match. That was a match that saw Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage defeating many wrestlers at once and escaping a ridiculous cage structure. Yeah, go watch that GARBAGE on the WWE Network or Peacock and get back to me. After that, Eric Bischoff had a "Come to Jesus" moment and took charge of the Creative Team to impose more REALITY BASED storylines. The result? Oh yeah, the New World Order with 2 guys talking and physically fighting other WCW wrestlers. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash simply posed as WWE invaders and/or former WCW talents trying to get revenge on WCW for their past booking. They just came out from the crowd, attacked WCW wrestlers, and hijacked the show. Nothing fancy about it whatsoever.
Just look at Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre right now... That feud is actually receiving major praise by most wrestling fans and might be the most hyped bout on the Wrestlemania 37 card. Why? Simply put, they are 2 legitimate heavyweight wrestlers fighting over a World Title. THAT SIMPLE... Bobby Lashley went from being a laughing stock with the Lana affair to becoming a serious wrestler with MVP's guidance and the Hurt Business backing him. Since Drew McIntyre's return, he's just a serious straight up wrestler without any 3 Man Band theatrics behind him. Both of those guys are colliding at Wrestlemania and they don't need a 3rd person added to their match. It's perfect the way it is...
Something is happening internally with the WWE that is making the Creative Team deem that they need to hide something with Bray Wyatt. They have thrown so many variations on his gimmick and are heavily reliant on pre-taped stuff to present him. As I have said repeatedly now, we just don't have a good track record of him performing well in big match spots on Pay Per Views (besides the Reigns match and Bryan matches). Everything is Smoke & Mirrors with this guy and his gimmick...
Great story for you and then I'll move to my MAIN POINT why many wrestling fans are mad at me for hating on the Fiend vs. Orton feud... Bray Wyatt might be the Blackie Lawless of the WWE. Who is Blackie Lawless? He is the lead singer of the 1980's rock band called W.A.S.P.. During the 1980s, many bands of that type over did it with the special effects and fireworks to attract more fans to their shows. Lots of "Smoke & Mirrors" to hide some inefficiencies that occurred within the band. One night, Blackie Lawless came up with this device that would shoot fireworks from his crotch area. Things went wrong and he suffered bad degree burns in that area (OUCH!). His famous quote to his band was "if we wrong better songs, we wouldn't have to resort to stunts like this!". In my opinion, if Bray Wyatt had better matches as his character prior to the Fiend appearing, he wouldn't need the theatrics, the masks, or make-up to look like a burn victim.
And when will we ever see the day when a wrestler gets MAD at the WWE Production Truck? Seriously, with all of the gimmicks playing with the lights and wrestlers getting jumped when someone suddenly appears, why isn't Kevin Dunn held to task by a wrestler? The should drag him out of that truck and ask why Dunn is helping a certain wrestler? Just stupid...
Here is why I'm getting so much heat for even daring to criticize Bray Wyatt/the Fiend. Folks, I have been critical for YEARS on Bray Wyatt and haven't received this much feedback as I am now. Suddenly, you are passionate about the Fiend and enjoying the antics applied within the Randy Orton feud. As I noted before, we've seen this feud before during 2017 from Wrestlemania 33 and Fastlane 2017. "House of Horrors" match and bugs appearing inside the ring were agreed upon as being TERRIBLE for its time. So why is wrestlers getting burned and selling themselves as burn victims suddenly getting praise by diehard WWE marks?
Oh yeah, it's Alexa Bliss.
I'm a very perceptive wrestling fan and I watch for trends to understand why readers get upset at certain points that I make. If you'd ask me today who is the #1 box office draw among the female wrestlers, I could easily make the argument that it is Alexa Bliss. If you go back to 2016, she was an instant hit on the WWE Smackdown roster and that was fresh off of being called up from the NXT roster. Then, as part of the 2017 Superstar Shake-up, they moved her to RAW. She was the FIRST female to win both Women's Titles since the 2016 split and did so by 2017. The injury bug began to crush her but everyone rooted on her comeback attempts... Now, the WWE has figured out that she's a real draw in a non-wrestling capacity.
There's a unique fetish about her with wrestling fans. Obviously, she's beautiful lady she's unafraid to show off her assets on social media. However, she is also gaining some stalkers, too... While ALL female wrestlers have to worry about this with over-obsessive fans, Alexa Bliss has had the most trouble with it. It appears that she's possibly deemed as the most beautiful female wrestler in the WWE today and therefore, that makes her the most sought after. Then, when you put her in crazy outfits and have her doing crazy things on television, it just broadens that appeal.
It's very much like Jim Cornette's past attempts at criticizing Sable... Yeah, she did ridiculous things on camera and wasn't the best promo... BUT LOOK @ HER. Sable was Playboy hot and was hot enough to appear in that magazine 3 separate times. Her first issue is one of the best selling issues of all time. It doesn't matter what Alexa Bliss does on WWE television with many fans... THEY LIKE HER NO MATTER WHAT. Seriously, her gimmick could be that she kicks random fans in the nuts at ringside and they'd still like her. She could drive a Septic Truck out to the arena and spray fans with feces and they would still love her!
THAT is what is driving the hatred towards me right now regarding my criticisms of the Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt/Fiend feud... Alexa Bliss is a legitimate draw in a non-wrestling capacity and she's bulletproof from criticisms in the fans' eyes. Again, go back to Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt during 2017. Supernatural crap was tried there, too, with the Wrestlemania 33 and Fastlane "House of Horrors" matches. We all agreed that this feud and the matches SUCKED... Fast forward to 2021, and we're doing Supernatural all over again with Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt/the Fiend... BUT she's there now and fans think that it's the best thing since sliced bread.
This introduces an even broader argument about the WWE and their use of women's sexuality as draws, you know, like they did with Miss Elizabeth, Sunny, Sable, Terri, Torrie Wilson, Stacy Keibler, Trish Stratus, Candice Michelle, and others in the past... WWE made a TON of money on marketing their bodies in the past, why not now? When tried, it's clearly working with Alexa Bliss tormenting fans with her looks within this Fiend vs. Orton feud. While I respect many of the female wrestlers as talents, it takes a lot to have a great match to enjoy in comparison to the male wrestlers (NBA vs. WNBA argument). I have HISTORY on my side to suggest what drew in the past with the female names mentioned above who barely wrestled. Now, Alexa Bliss is working as a non-wrestler and fans cannot get enough of her.
THAT is why you are made at me... I've been ripping the Creative Team's use of Bray Wyatt/the Fiend since SummerSlam 2013. I have been of the opinion that if he was pushed as a serious wrestler, thanks to his Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda bloodlines (his real name is "Windham Rotunda" by the way), he could have succeeded. But no, the WWE Creative Team had him read scripted lines that nobody could make sense of and placed him in goofy gimmick matches that weren't executed well. Hell, his first big match on the WWE main roster was against Kane with the rings on fire at SummerSlam 2013. Remember when we all laughed at that match?
But do you remember how badly we all ripped that Swamp theatrical match against Braun Strowman during 2020?
And again, we all hated that 2017 Randy Orton feud and that was LOADED with Supernatural crap.
Fast forward to 2021, and I feel like the lone voice of suggesting that Randy Orton barfing black stuff, both Orton and Fiend getting burned, disappearing and reappearing acts, and other supernatural acts are terrible... Yet, this time around, I'm called "negative", ridiculed as an "older wrestling fan who doesn't get it", or just a "hater". No, I'm consistent... You're not! The Wild Card for this 2021 feud is Alexa Bliss being a participant and y'all like her. I like her too, and have 5 years of written columns to prove that... But I can overlook her obvious beauty to see a TERRIBLE effort by the Creative Team to shock wrestling fans.
Meanwhile, our good friend Alexa Bliss posts personal pictures of herself with her boyfriend on her Social Media posts... Wait a second, does she just flip on this character switch and alliance with Bray Wyatt/Fiend when she arrives at a WWE arena? Alexa... Please sell this gimmick and storyline with the Fiend OUTSIDE the wrestling business, please. If you want to make anyone suspend their disbelief, you need to sell it 24/7. I understand that you need to have a life, but Social Media for you as a public figure is a marketing tool. Right now, you're selling two different versions of yourself and that's not mixing well. For the record, that's my same argument as to why the Miz isn't getting over... He acts like a HEEL on WWE television and then goes on Kelly Clarkson's talk show to act like a Corporate Babyface. If you send mixed messages to fans, you won't get over.
I should have known... Beautiful women are always going to succeed at selling anything, including the ridiculous theatrics and supernatural stuff of this Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt/Fiend feud.
You've got something here, WWE, and it's NOT Randy Orton or Bray Wyatt/Fiend... It's the Wild Card.
Remember as I said above with "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". If you don't remember why Elizabeth, Sunny, Sable, Torrie, Terri, Candice, and Stacy all drew despite barely wrestling... Then you don't understand how Alexa Bliss is saving this Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt/Fiend feud.
I was totally wrong on this one... I said that adding Alexa Bliss to Bray Wyatt/Fiend as a non-wrestling capacity wouldn't work. I was very critical of that and suggested that she should still wrestle. I was wrong... Just put here out there as any non-wrestling character and the fans will overlook it just to see her.
See, there you go Internet Wrestling Community... You were able to witness me admitting that I was wrong about adding Alexa Bliss to Bray/Wyatt... Of course, you could have added her to the 24/7 division, to the Bad Bunny vs. Miz feud, anyone in the WWE midcard or tag division, or have her rejoin NXT and she'd get attention. She's one of those beautiful and charismatic female elites that only arrive every once and a while.
Despite Alexa Bliss, you will not convince me that Supernatural garbage pushed will help the Fiend or Randy Orton moving forward. History shows that goofy special effects like this do not help any wrestlers, even the Undertaker.
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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