The Excellence in Column Writing is upon you, as this old man is pointing the FINGER OF SHAME at all of the wrestling fans who even DARED to criticize me after my last column entitled “Triple H is Failing the WWE”. You call moi as “out of touch”? Weren’t you the same fools who were bashing Vince McMahon for the past 10 years and now that he’s gone, the same numbers remain? Aren’t you the same people who IGNORED that Triple H was EVP of Talent Relations from mid-2012 through early 2020 and EVP of Creative from late 2013 through mid-2019? He owns part of that decline, particularly with that EXPENSIVE Developmental Center and NXT promotion not providing WWE with any permanent main event stars. Your current WWE Main Event scene consists of Jim Ross signed guys (Bobby Lashley, Brock Lesnar, John Cena when he returns, Randy Orton when he returns) and John Laurinaitis signed guys (Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Bray Wyatt).
I’m out of touch? How about YOU are out of touch for enabling bad wrestling and not demanding that it improve?
WWE Monday Night RAW during early 2015 had 4 million viewers and during 2014, they were still hanging onto those numbers during NFL Monday Night Football, too. Now? We’re consistently under 2 million viewers.
Attendance, down. WWE is very selective on Houseshow business now.
Merchandise sales, waaaaay down. You don’t have any merchandise cash cows like John Cena. While Roman sells the most, he’s selling the most out of a declining number.
WWE is very lucky to have desperate Cable/Satellite and Network channels around who will overpay for live sporting event content. Yet if you look at WWE’s deal, it’s weak by comparison of other sports leagues. NHL consistently draws less than 1 million viewers per game on Cable and yet they just scored higher deals than WWE.
The facts are there for you to review regarding Triple H’s performance as a manager. They were there for his EVP of Talent Relations (mid-2012 through early 2020), EVP of Creative (late 2013 through mid-2019), and then when NXT became a 2 hour LIVE show for Wednesday Nights on the USA Network and got WHIPPED by the horrible AEW promotion’s Dynamite show weekly. Only time that NXT got close to AEW in viewership was when they sent top stars down to the promotion. They won like 2 or 3 times in a 2 year span. What a disaster.
All I can do is present facts as a columnist… As wrestling marks, you just choose to ignore them. I’m sorry that I’m bashing your childhood hero in Triple H, but as a fan of the WWE for over 30 years now, I know a successful promotion when I see it. Triple H is just riding on the fumes of what Vince McMahon built while bringing back many of the failed talents that struggled to get over in the WWE once they were called-up from NXT.
And let’s stop calling me “pro-AEW”. Have you actually read my columns? There hasn’t been a single person online as rough on Tony Khan and the EVPs as I have. Just read through my archives and see for yourself.
The FACT is that Triple H and Tony Khan are just NOT GOOD AT THEIR JOBS for managing pro wrestling companies. Triple H is too stubborn on his own personal style, which is why most of his top guys are “dark & brooding” like the Triple H of the early 2000s was. Everybody coming out of NXT is a Triple H clone and work mostly like Triple H. Tony Khan is in over his head and is a terrible manager of people. Being reliant on the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega as his top decision makers has proved to be his biggest failure and they helped botch one of the best free agent signings ever in CM Punk. Oh, and by the way, Triple H screwed up CM Punk during 2011 with his behind-the-scenes garbage too. Triple H pinned CM Punk at Night of Champions 2011 and they never had any rematches after that (tagged up 2 Pay Per Views later and CM Punk was pinned by Miz/R-Truth!).
You can keep calling me “out of touch”, but you are actually mad at me because I’m 100% right on assessing your boy Triple H (and Tony Khan, if you love AEW).
You’re just a bunch of marks who cannot handle criticism on a scripted form of entertainment that used to be called “pro wrestling”.
On to your questions…
ASK MR. TITO: Your Questions, My Answers
What are your thoughts on Steve Austin possibly wrestling again at Wrestlemania 39?
Please do, Steve. Make it an annual thing where you wrestle on Wrestlemania. The fact is that the current crop of WWE “stars” just cannot draw interest for a big show like Wrestlemania. Hence why older veterans are always called upon…
Back in the 1990s, does anybody recall WWE or WCW constantly bringing back stars in their 50s to work matches? I don’t… Because WWE constantly made new stars and WCW would sign away free agents still in their prime. The problem is that WWE is FAILING to develop new top stars outside of the John Laurinaitis EVP of Talent Relations first run that went through mid-2012. Hence why WWE was so reliant on Bill Goldberg and Undertaker for their star power. While he’s not in his 50s yet, WWE was incredibly reliant on Brock Lesnar to carry them as well. WWE loses Hulk Hogan in 1993 and they recreated new stars like Yokozuna, Diesel, Razor, HBK, and Bret Hart to keep the ship afloat until newer stars after them, like Rock, Austin, Mick Foley, Kane, and a repackaged Undertaker could deliver us the Attitude Era.
The possibilities are endless with Steve Austin… Austin vs. Roman Reigns, Austin vs. John Cena, Austin vs. Brock Lesnar. Take your pick, as any one of those 3 matches will pack the stadium for Wrestlemania 39.
Anyone who doesn’t want Steve Austin on Wrestlemania 39 is a total sour puss and is such a mark to believe that today’s stars are great. They aren’t. WWE lost 2 million viewers over the last 7 years. Those Attitude Era guys helped the WWE gain over 4 million viewers during the late 1990s.
Austin vs. Kevin Owens SAVED Wrestlemania 38 from being a really bad Wrestlemania, as nothing delivered like that match did. Why? Because Steve Austin knows how to work, sell, and add personality & psychology to his matches. Doesn’t matter how old he is, Austin knows how to work. The NXT promotion and Developmental System are not teaching wrestlers how to work properly and are instead sending characters without psychology and personality to WWE as call-ups.
Thoughts on Road Dogg’s comments about Bret Hart?
Oh please on Road Dogg. If he knew so much about wrestling, then why did he SUCK so bad as Smackdown’s creative lead during early 2017 and throughout that year? After the brand split, the Smackdown roster was efficient and worked well as a team to deliver fun shows that held Smackdown around 2.7 million viewers. After a few weeks of Road Dogg tearing that show apart, we were in the low 2 millions consistently. And then there was Jinder Mahal…
Road Dogg benefitted from being a member of a great tag team and a great faction. Until he can show me his successes on his own, he needs to cool it on the Bret Hart criticisms. In fact, Degeneration X was a faction that he joined, not started. They were already selling tons of merchandise with the HBK, Chyna, and Triple H version. Furthermore, look at Billy Gunn right now… He’s still relevant in 2022 and with a completely different version of his character. He didn’t need to appear at the Degeneration X reunion, as he’s crushing it in AEW with the Acclaimed. Meanwhile, Road Dogg is willing and capable of doing whatever Triple H needs.
And look, I’m on the side of Bret Hart not being as big of a star as many online believe that he is… United States business did drop during the 1990s when he was champion, BUT it began to decline during mid-1990 when crowing the Ultimate Warrior as champion failed and then trying to still push Hulk Hogan as the top guy kept failing. That said, Bret proved himself in 1997 with excellent work as a heel and there’s a reason why the Montreal Screwjob from Survivor Series 1997 is still relevant to this day. Why? Because WWE screwed a top star and pushed him out the door to join a competitor. When Road Dogg left WWE to join TNA, did it make a big impact for the WWE about his exit? Nope.
Let’s make no mistake… Road Dogg has had a GREAT career and is one of the most accomplished Tag Team wrestlers of all time. He deserves all of the praise awarded to him for his work with DX and the New Age Outlaws. However, he’s not even a fraction in comparison to Bret Hart as a star.
The truth is that we know who Road Dogg sucks up to (Triple H) and bashing Bret Hart is just an attempt to score brownie points (or brown nosing points, take your pick).
What are your thoughts on NWA crowning Tyrus as their World Champion?
My thoughts are that NWA has a right to crown whomever they want to be champion… And then it’s the consumer’s right to choose whether they want to see more NWA action with him as champion or not.
Simple as that.
And it’s not like the previous NWA champions were setting the world on fire, either, let’s get real. Murdoch and Aldis aren’t guys that I’m tripping over someone to go see immediately. Cody didn’t light things up as NWA champion, either. While I respect Billy Corgan for trying to prop up the old NWA brand, I don’t have to watch his shows and haven’t been fully engaged since the first few shows started. Everything from the presentation, creative, talent, and tone just haven’t done much for me and makes them a promotion to easily ignore.
NWA could bring back David Arquette and make him become champion, and I wouldn’t care. This just isn’t a promotion for me and nothing they have done has ever enticed me to watch more. Anyone showing outrage over Tyrus becoming champion were certainly enjoying the taste of crap sandwiches which NWA has been serving up for the past few years.
With that said, congrats to Tyrus becoming NWA Champion. Good for him…
Billy Corgan told people online to “don’t watch the NWA” in response to Tyrus becoming champion. Don’t worry, Billy, I haven’t been watching in a long time. I still love your music, though, and I have been financially supporting that for decades now. I’ll pay for a good quality product, which your music once was. Your wrestling promotion is not.
What are your thoughts on Jeff Jarrett joining AEW?
It’s an experienced hand to help Tony Khan out, so that’s a plus… But then I look back at that Global Force Wrestling ponzi scheme and worry. And Jarrett made minimal impact backstage at WWE as a producer, too. His TNA years were decent, though the promotion suddenly gutted its creative and management team once he gave up too much power to the Carters.
I don’t know, folks… I just don’t see him as the creative “shot in the arm” or manager with entrepreneurship abilities that they desperately need right now. His later years in TNA and the joke of a Global Force promotion makes me worry about what TNA is getting.
AEW still has an EVP problem while Tony puts way too much responsibility on his inexperienced self. Until those issues are resolved, AEW won’t grow and Jarrett cannot help them based on his more recent experiences.
Who should John Cena wrestle at Wrestlemania?
I know that Logan Paul apparently wants it badly, but doesn’t he have a torn up knee that needs to heal? And secondly, since when did he become fantasy booker in the WWE and can demand matches by texting someone?
What a mark by revealing his texts to Triple H. Now, it creates expectations. Triple H should be furious right now.
If we’re getting Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 39, and he’s apparently displaying workout videos to suggest just that, then the big match-up should be Steve Austin vs. John Cena. That’s a complete DREAM MATCH if there ever was one, as two of the biggest stars ever collide AND I believe it would be a much better match-up than Rock vs. John Cena. When Rock returned, he tried to be reliant on his athleticism and it cost him, as he wasn’t in the best cardio shape (though he looked the part by being jacked up). Austin’s style is about psychology and doing “more with less”, which is why he looked fantastic last year at Wrestlemania 38 against Kevin Owens (Owens did a great job, too).
If not Cena vs. Austin, I’d go with Cena vs. Lesnar one more time. The storyline is simple, as Lesnar’s SummerSlam 2014 defeat of Cena pretty much ended Cena’s career in the WWE as the #1 guy. Lesnar took over and to a degree, the overpushed Roman Reigns did too.
I fully realize that Logan Paul had a great match with Roman Reigns and shows some promise… But until I see that his popularity from outside the WWE brings in more fans into the WWE, I’d recommend pumping the breaks on him receiving every big opportunity before an established WWE star.
Plus, don’t be a mark and blab to the internet about your text conversations with a company EVP. That’s an immature move.
What is the latest that you’ve heard about Tessa Blanchard?
I’ve actually been reporting on her for a while, as I have a few indy sources in the know about her current situation. Here is a summary of what I know and have reported in the past:
(1) Her Impact Wrestling contract was coming up in the months after she won the Impact Title and she wanted paid like the other top stars who owned that title. Impact refused and that is what abruptly ended that relationship.
(2) WWE has been low-balling her with salary offers and requiring her to restart her career in NXT. She’s not interested in the salary offered, nor does she want to rejoin NXT.
(3) AEW does not want to bring her in, based on the stories and gossip told to the EVPs and Tony by many of their female workers or friends in independent promotions who clashed with Tessa.
(4) For Women of Wrestling, there were just creative disagreements with her character and the promotion. It was a mutual break, I’m told, as the WOW promotion seems to have a ton of corporate meddling from the owners and the TV network whereas Tessa is oldschool and wants to showcase the in-ring product.
This all stems from the early 2020 stories that came out about Tessa Blanchard where allegations of her spitting and dropping a racial slur to black female wrestler Black Rose. While this incident is she said, she said between the two, it piles on to how Tessa has been perceived for years by other female wrestlers. Tessa is very intense and demanding of her opponents, and that tone doesn’t build great relationships for her. I heard that when she was in NXT, she pushed back on the training ideas given to her and was upset at how green some of her co-workers were. Hence, why she left NXT…
Tessa just isn’t well liked by fellow female wrestlers and that has amplified the allegations of racial insensitivity that she may or may not have.
Personally, I believe in second chances and that people can evolve. She’s had almost 3 years of not competing in major promotions to think about her actions and reflect on how she could improve. WWE, AEW, Impact, and NWA are actually desperate for female talent and she carries the quality of being a 3rd generation wrestler with her. That said, the baggage of this racial allegation seems to worry any promotion dealing with corporate sponsors.
But look at Gigi Dolin, who is CRUSHING IT in NXT. While she didn’t apparently fire off a racial slur, video of her making another female wrestler eat her bloody tampon made everyone cringe. Instead of frowning upon that, WWE gave Priscilla Kelly a chance and she has become a fan favorite with the Toxic Attraction faction. Tessa Blanchard does not have any video or audio of what she said…
If I were advising Tessa Blanchard, I’d find a place to do an interview and be honest about your past dealings with other female wrestlers. People like humble and will award second chances to people who appear to learn from past mistakes. Priscilla Kelly had to overcome a video that grossed many fans out and now she’s a badass on NXT.
And Hulk Hogan is ON VIDEO using the N-word repeatedly, which was also a sex-tape, and WWE rehired him.
Everybody deserves a second chance and the second Tessa messes up, just release her. But if she’s on great behavior, you’ll have a major star injected into your women’s wrestling product.
What is the greatest wrestling faction of all time?
Zero doubt in my mind on this one, the New World Order (NWO). They changed Pro Wrestling, particularly the the 1996 version before it expanded and became bloated during 1997-1998. Hogan turning heel and joining 2 free agent signings in Kevin Nash and Scott Hall changed Pro Wrestling forever and for the better.
One could say “without the Four Horsemen, there would be no other factions”. I disagree on that. The Four Horsemen drew well on a regional basis in the South, but even with TBS at their side, it didn’t draw well up North. They weren’t known on a nationwide basis… However, Hulk Hogan was a national star and Nash/Hall were more popular in the WWE than once believed. Their exits hurt the WWE’s roster during 1996 badly and it took over a year for the WWE to recover and start pushing new talents.
The NWO invasion angle was the most captivating angle ever made and the NWO, as a brand, pushed tons of merchandise and was a major cultural influence. NWO made Pro Wrestling cool again and that’s what matters. Four Horsemen made Ric Flair cool and that’s it… Four Horsemen had more of an influence on creating Evolution as a stable than it had on any other matters of Pro Wrestling. NWO changed the game and is a direct influence on Degeneration X.
Sadly, Eric Bischoff joining NWO during November 1996 sealed its fate and everything fell apart at Starrcade 1997 with Hogan vs. Sting botched and then the Bret Hart acquisition was completely wasted. Throughout 1998 and 1999, Eric Bischoff couldn’t give up on pushing Hulk Hogan as the #1 star in the company and that proved fatal.
NWO 4 Life as my #1 faction, though. June 1996 through October 1996 (when Piper appeared) was some of the most captivating wrestling television, ever. I’ve rewatched that section of WCW Nitro several times and it’s the best wrestling television that I’ve ever seen at that point (until WWE from 1998 through early 1999 began to top that).
Why do you still have a job at NoDQ?
Because my columns draw views and spark more views by creating extra comments. And I’m not writing just to get a reaction. My opinions are 100% legitimate of my own.
Simple as that… I can consistently pump out columns on real-time news topics and my opinions are unique from others. I’m hardworking, too, and am professional behind the scenes.
And I work for free, that helps. This is a hobby for me, so I have refused payment both at LoP and now NoDQ. I’m a 100% revenue generating kind of guy.
The question is, for you attackers of me… Why do you insist that because you disagree with an opinion, that creates a desire for you to CANCEL said person with that opinion? And wouldn’t it be boring to read something with the same view point as you?
Right now, both in entertainment/sports and political content worlds, we want to remove anything that doesn’t fully agree with you. Not just by refusing to click a link or watch a channel, but to get them removed and block future opportunities. Look at what is happening right now with Dave Chappelle. He made a few jokes about his buddy Kanye West getting cancelled and now everyone wants to cancel Dave. Hell, people are harassing Ice-T because he appeared in 1 sketch with Dave Chappelle on the most recent Saturday Night Live.
So basically “screw you” if you insist on getting me cancelled. By silencing me, you’re removing one of the most passionate Pro Wrestling fans on the planet who does the job that YOU should be doing to hold the management of these awful wrestling promotions (WWE & AEW) accountable. Trust me, wrestling promotions want fewer of me than they want of you… They like yes-men like you who keep buying WWE merchandise (like those expensive title belts) and pay high floor seat ticket prices. They dislike people like me who point out how many fans they’ve lost in just 7 years.
Furthermore, there are way more people who read and LIKE my column than there are haters of my material. I consistently win the ratio battle between total page views versus a few hating comments.
Your tears taste so good… And the worse part is that you know that my opinions are right. You’ll be repeating them in the upcoming months as your own and that’s what truly hurts marks like you.
So just chill ’til the next episode…