The RATIO KING has returned to NoDQ.com to unload some more EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING in the form of my weekend column called "Ask Mr. Tito". This is supposed to be my "weekend chill" column where I take your questions sent in by Twitter, Email, or Comments below columns and answer them all together. Usually ends up being a longer column, but I never half-arse anything particularly when it comes to pleasing my long-time readers. I also find it funny with my newer NoDQ audience in their belief that they "got me" by "ratio-ing" me on Social Media accounts. Yeah, good job... Just feed the Twitter algorithm with more Likes and Retweets. That will show me!
What the newer audience also needs to do is READ MY COLUMNS and STOP SKIMMING THE HEADLINE. Following my latest column, you've assumed that I have disqualified the Undertaker's entire WWE career when that is completely untrue. I have 22+ years of columns between NoDQ and Lords of Pain that you could read that heavily praises the Undertaker as one of the ALL TIME GREATS. READ THE DAMN COLUMN... What made the Undertaker GREAT was his match-ups... Taker was a great WRESTLER and he ALWAYS delivered in big spots on Pay Per Views. His matches against Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Triple H, Steve Austin, Edge, Batista, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, and AJ Styles are all considered all time greats, many of which won "Match of the Year". And yeah, he had many theatrical feuds with Kane but they HAD TO WRESTLE at some point and Kane vs. Undertaker consistently delivered as great matches.
My point was when the Undertaker was 100% about the Supernatural stuff, they were the lowest points of his career. Watch anything from 1992-1995 about the Undertaker. I DARE YOU. They went from a tall scary wrestler who put losing opponents in bodybags (which is cool) to someone who could resurrect from the dead, wrestle a duplicate version of himself (see SummerSlam 1994 please), and other goofy stuff with the power of the Urn. Luckily for the Undertaker, he was a great talent AND he also had Paul Bearer to sell the mystique as well. The FACT remains, however, that WWE did not draw with the Supernatural stuff regarding the Undertaker from 1992-1995. It's just factual, as the WWE's business eroded with Undertaker getting main event hype at the time. WWE needed a bigger superstar to pull the wagon and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin did that.
In fact, Austin being so strong at the top allowed for anything to happen on the undercard or midcard. I know that we like to romanticize the Attitude Era past, but there were a ton of crappy storylines back then INCLUDING the Ministry of Darkness. They were sacrificing wrestlers and doing goofy things with special effects. However, we endured it and tolerated it because we got to see Stone Cold later on in the show. Then, to prove my point, the Undertaker returned to the WWE during 2000 on the basis of having a REALITY BASED character. From 2000-2003, some of the Undertaker's best in-ring stuff happened.
Do you guys remember the hype of the "Dead Man" returning at Wrestlemania 20? Do you remember that at all... It was the Undertaker trying to wear the same old clothes again and it was underwhelming. We went back to the Supernatural stuff and it was just OK... It didn't move the meter and what did was his Wrestlemania Streak. You know, that thing about WINNING MATCHES. Thus, for the rest of his career, everything was about preserving that Wrestlemania Streak which was a gimmick that served him well as he became part-time. Some of that Undertaker vs. Kane feud later on, which relied on theatrics and the supernatural, was a bit rough to watch.
But the MATCHES are what made the Undertaker great. Everyone, to this day, talks about his Hell in a Cell match with Michaels from Badd Blood 1997 and then the Wrestlemania 25 match with Michaels as well. Great Triple H matches, always... HUGE roadblock for Steve Austin during 1998. ALWAYS great with Mick Foley... See, right there, that's a good mix because both Undertaker and Mick Foley were completely over-the-top with their characters YET what made their feud great were the MATCHES.
Now, let's look at Bray Wyatt/The Fiend. His matches, particularly as the Fiend, are AWFUL. If you're going to play a supernatural character, DELIVER IN THE DAMN RING. He doesn't... His matches have become a chore to watch and that is pretty much his entire WWE career. Aside from his Roman Hell in a Cell match and the 2 matches with Daniel Bryan, he really doesn't have anything getting rated highly. THAT is the issue with Bray Wyatt and the Fiend... You MUST have great MATCHES... That is how the Undertaker got over for freakin' 30 years. He ALWAYS delivered in the ring and Taker was soooo good that when he had clunkers, you forgave him for it. You knew that he'd return later motivated to prove himself. We're seeing nothing of that from Bray Wyatt/the Fiend and THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Thus, Bray Wyatt/Fiend is 100% reliant on SHOCK VALUE and the SUPERNATURAL because he cannot get it done inside the ring for a match. Now, he's walking around like a burn victim and as if he just stepped off the set of Friday the 13th - Part 6 - Jason Lives.
Now, onto Alexa Bliss... Again, since her 2016 debut, I now have FOUR PLUS YEARS of columns praising her talents. In particular, I was all about her on Smackdown from 2016-2017 and I loved the collection of Women's talent there before the 2017 "Superstar Shake-up" (that is where I began loving Becky Lynch as a talent too). I was NOT bashing her, nor was I suggesting that she's getting over because she's a "hot blonde". WWE has tried to push many blonde females throughout the years and they've failed on MANY of them. You need to bring more to the table than just your looks or Kelly Kelly would have been a WWE Hall of Famer already. Being in the elite class of Miss Elizabeth (not a Blonde), Sunny, Sable, Torrie Wilson, Candice Michelle (not a Blonde), or other NON-WRESTLING types that drew money is a compliment. It means that you have drawing power with wrestling in which you could do practically anything on television and they'd still watch. Obviously, Alexa is beautiful but she's charismatic, cuts a great promo, has a great personality, is talented inside the ring, and is humble & down-to-earth outside of the ring. THAT IS WHAT DRAWS...
You have to read my columns, folks... Don't just hop on that keyboard and immediately attack when you read the headline. And don't call my headlines as "clickbait" either. My title was "Supernatural Has No Place in Pro Wrestling" and my column literally argued that. You received EXACTLY what was advertised.
But did I disqualify the Undertaker's career? HELL NO
Was I bashing Alexa Bliss? HELL NO
But yeah, I was suggesting that Bray Wyatt/Fiend is very reliant on the Supernatural stuff and that can only go so far. Until he delivers INSIDE THE RING, he'll need Alexa Bliss to create Smoke & Mirrors for him to seem appealing.
Hey, if I'm not mistaken, didn't past wrestling promoters give wrestlers who couldn't talk a Manager to speak for them? Yeah, they did... They were hiding weaknesses. How about that?
Onto your questions...
ASK MR. TITO - Your Questions, My Answers
Does NBC/U have a right to censor WWE Network content on Peacock?
How does that old phrase go? "You get what you pay for"... Right? Well, if Comcast and NBC/Universal want to pay $1 Billion over the next 5 years for the WWE Network content to air on their Peacock streaming service, they they have the right to sanitize that content before it airs. And while he's counting his money, Vince McMahon will have ZERO problems with the censoring of his past shows. As long as that check clears.
How are any wrestling fans surprised by this? Comcast and NBC/Universal are the SAME folks who forced Monday Night RAW, which used to host adult themes in their storylines, to now have a PG rating. So you're telling me that it is a shock to you that this same Corporation wants to filter the WWE Network related content before it airs on Peacock? Come on... Use reason.
THIS is why Vince McMahon's Creative on the WWE main roster has been God awful for the last 12 years. He has had to please the executives at NBC/Universal and then the ones from Comcast once the acquisition was complete. Vince is no dummy, as he caters his programming to what Comcast wants as long as they keep sending him those large checks. To Vince's credit as CEO and Board Chairman, the television deals that he pulls out of Comcast, each time, are getting bigger and bigger. He used to get just $175 million per year for RAW and Smackdown from Comcast. Now, he receives $200 million per year for just RAW from Comcast.
Wrestling fans will look back fondly on early 2014 through early 2021 as the "Golden Era" of streaming content because the WWE Network was truly special. So many older shows on demand... Now, another politically correct corporation is going to scrub all of that content.
Get used to it, folks... WWE will gladly take Comcast's money and then listen to their advise on how to clean up their content. WWE pulls in $400 million pear year from these guys... Just ridiculous and that's more than enough to sell their souls to them.
What are your thoughts on adding Daniel Bryan to the Edge vs. Roman Reigns match?
I covered this earlier in the week in a column, as I was anticipating a Triple Threat happening following WWE Fastlane 2021. It's just LAZY booking and also the realization that Edge wasn't the right WWE veteran to pair with Roman Reigns. It will be a GREAT match, no doubt about it... That is a ton of great athletic talent inside that ring. Let's make that clear...
But why have the Royal Rumble when you're going to insert someone else into the match to make it a Triple Threat? If you read my columns from 2004, I was all over the WWE for adding Shawn Michaels to Triple H vs. Chris Benoit. Why? Because Shawn didn't win the Royal Rumble! That is why I HATE and I repeat HATE the Elimination Chamber because is cheapens the Rumble Match winner too.
Reportedly, this match change along with making Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka were among the many aggressive changes to Wrestlemania that Vince McMahon wanted this week. Seemed like he was tired of waiting on Charlotte and he probably wasn't thrilled with the lack of chemistry that Edge had with Roman Reigns. Scary thing is that Wrestlemania 37 is LESS than 3 weeks away and we're making bigtime changes to the card.
OH WELL... Honestly, to me, Wrestlemania 37 looks damn good with the following card:
- Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns vs. Edge
- Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre
- Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley
- Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks
Those are damn good match-ups and impressive considering that the WWE isn't utilizing Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Triple H, Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, or the Undertaker in any matches this year. Sure, Bianca Belair vs. Sasha's hype has been a bit weak on Smackdown but when they get into that ring, they'll let it rip. Both ladies have a lot to prove in this big spot and we'll see a great show.
I'm a HUGE Daniel Bryan supporter, so thus I'm happy that he gets a big moment to shine at Wrestlemania. I hate seeing the Rumble match winner get disrespected, but I believe that adding Bryan upgrades the match significantly in quality.
Do you agree with the WWE making Kane and Great Khali as WWE Hall of Famers?
Absolutely. Both guys were World Champs... Honestly, if you carry a World Title, it's automatic (unless, well, Benoit). Kane is obvious, as he has like 22 years with the WWE as that gimmick and is an iconic character of the WWE. In my opinion, the WWE could have done more with him but Triple H ruined him by a) unmasking him and b) Katie Vick storyline. They could have returned him to a big monster by moving him to Smackdown after Brock Lesnar left, but chose not to... He's had a great career and was a character that nobody will forget (well, except Corporate Kane).
For Great Khali... Many don't realize this, but he has been very important in spreading the WWE's brand awareness throughout the Asian markets. A good example of Great Khali's influence would be like Houston Rockets star Yao Ming playing in the NBA. Yao Ming was from China and him becoming a successful NBA player caused that sports league to become very popular in that country. Khali succeeding in WWE did the same for India.
People badmouth Khali all the time and I always feel bad... He is another guy who suffers from acromegaly (excessive growth caused by pituitary gland issues) just like Andre the Giant. So yeah, he moved very slowly with age but it comes with the territory with that issue.
I have no problem with Khali going in... He did enough and helped the WWE brand grow internationally. That's important enough to me.
Do you have a problem with Rhea Ripley instantly receiving a Women's Title shot at Wrestlemania 37?
Well, Ripley was on Wrestlemania 36, right? So yeah, it's cool... But honestly, the WWE putting Ripley in this division highlights how THIN the WWE Women's roster has actually become. Take away Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair from the ring and have Alexa Bliss work as a non-wrestling character, things get very exposed as a split roster. This is why I keep insisting that the Women's division isn't that strong of a draw for the WWE. Beyond the 4 Horsewomen and a few others, there are a bunch of female competitors who work and act the same.
It's funny, too, because Peyton Royce cut a passionate promo to demand a shot at Asuka... And the WWE goes with Rhea Ripley instead.
WWE going with Ripley is an obvious indictment on how weak Women's Wrestling has been without Becky and Charlotte pulling the wagon on the RAW roster. Just the way it is... With both performers having their own International influences, it could be a great match.
Where do you expect Tessa Blanchard to end up?
That picture of Tessa working out with Bayley and Sasha has people stirred up... Let me reiterate what I've heard from a reliable indy source with good friends in Impact wrestling. Tessa left Impact because she felt that she was underpaid by that promotion, considering that they just made her Impact World Champion. Timing was everything, as this was at the start of the pandemic and Impact either disagreed with Tessa's financial request or the Recession caused by the pandemic caused Impact's ownership group to freeze salaries. Either way, that is what caused her to become a free agent.
With AEW, several wrestlers know some of the wrestlers who made allegations of bullying, racial slurs, or spitting by Tessa and they are reportedly chirping backstage about. Despite Tully Blanchard already being there, it has been enough to keep her out of AEW.
I'm told that WWE wants her but given Tessa's prior experience in the WWE as a NXT performer, she prefers not to go there.
The allegations about the racial slurs and spitting, in my opinion, are what is blackballing her from both WWE and AEW. They won't touch her as long as those allegations are out there and not fully refuted. Tessa denies them but they just keep coming up on news cycles throughout the internet. Sad thing is that she's ready to go... If you follow her on Instagram, she's constantly posting videos of her weight training and damn she can do some impressive things.
Everybody makes mistakes at some point and in the heat of a moment, bad things can happen. People can also evolve... That's the problem with Cancel Culture is that once you block someone from said employment, where do they go? Are they not allowed to work again, ever?
How do you put together each column?
I would say that my biggest advantage is my ability to type. I am extremely fast with my fingers and it allows me to pound out many paragraphs of words in a shorter amount of time. Each column takes me less than 2 hours to produce, if that.
I'm also a daydreamer with a lot of imagination. I seriously write my columns in my head days or hours in advance before I actually begin typing them. The beauty of sitting through long meetings in board rooms or on webinars is that they can't stop you from daydreaming. While they are having meetings about meetings, I'm scripting out the next column. I'm heavily thinking about Pro Wrestling and topics to cover and then I use my fast typing skills to relay the photographic memory that I have.
Then, once the column is complete, I think about how to title it... With NoDQ, I have fewer character positions to make a title so I have to be very clever and concise. It's part of marketing your column to create something clever but also truthful for what is in the column.
I always make sure that I post consistently... Right now, I make sure to post on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday for my weekly column and then Saturday morning for Ask Tito. I want my readers to anticipate that a column will be there when they log into NoDQ, as if a newspaper just arrived.
It's really that simple... And yes, the opinions are 100% my own and I'm dead serious about each and every one of them. Mr. Tito is an alias, NOT a character. I'm not writing things for shock value or attention... Anything that I post is 100% my opinion and I'm dead serious about it.
The only other thing that I would say about writing columns is that you need thick skin to do it... Just click into any Twitter post about my columns and some people feel the need to personally attack me. You should see my emails... I keep death threats in a folder, just in case... When you post a column, you need to anticipate that someone might get offended over an opinion. If you cannot handle criticism well, then writing to an audience is not for you. I've done it for 22+ years here at NoDQ and Lords of Pain before that... I was writing DAILY columns at the peak of the Attitude Era and reading emails from that became a full time job.
Trust me on this, it's harder than it looks... I have seen many try and many fail... Some are good for a while but then they get burned out. My ability to daydream and having an imagination always keeps ideas fresh in my head. Only times I get burnt out is when WWE is the only game in town and it becomes a chore to watch them. Felt that way during 2006 and also during 2018, but periods of time when I walked away briefly from doing this. I'm quite happy that AEW is here because it spices things up and challenges the WWE with their talent roster. Ideas are easy to come by right now.
Some of you have asked if I would ever want to take my opinions to a weekly Podcast... Nah. There are too many Podcasters right now and not enough good columnists. I can skim through a written column faster than you could listen to a Podcast. Besides, and I say this as a lover of talk radio for decades now... It takes a certain talent to speak well on the air. I feel that I can better express myself through the written word instead of into a microphone.
So just chill... Until the next episode!
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