ASK TITO: Future of Bloodline in WWE, The Elite Re-Signs with AEW, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, and More

Welcome back to the Excellence in Column Writing where I take your questions and respond to them in column form for everyone to enjoy. I don’t care what you think about All Elite Wrestling (AEW), but their introduction to wrestling during 2019 has made it really easy to write columns. They have not only caused free agency to happen again, but has also caused the WWE to step up their game as well. The late 2010s wrestling product was awful and I’m grateful to be out of that era.

I usually write a long introduction, but I’d rather get right into your questions!

ASK TITO: Your Questions, My Answers

Where does the Bloodline go from here?

In case you missed it, Jimmy Uso screwed Jey Uso at SummerSlam 2023 and then on Smackdown, Jimmy gave an odd reason for his actions that he didn’t want Jey to become just like Roman. Huh? Jey proceeded to overcome both Roman and Solo, and then he superkicked Jimmy on the outside. Jey announced he was not only done with the Bloodline, but done with the WWE. WWE, playing along obviously, placed Jey Uso in the Alumni section of WWE’s website.

I think what you’ll see Jey legitimately taking a few weeks off, as this was probably a planned vacation and it will fuel the hype while he’s gone. In the meantime, it’s Jimmy’s turn to wrestle Roman Reigns and they’ll have a few battles over the next few month. After Jimmy loses, he’ll acknowledge Roman and rejoin the Bloodline. Then, Jey comes back and it will be babyface Jey versus Bloodline heel Jimmy, possibly at Survivor Series or Royal Rumble?

As for Roman Reigns, after his feud with Jimmy, I think they might do a feud with Edge to keep things busy through the last few months of 2023 or something like that. Cody vs. Roman II is happening at Wrestlemania 40.

But I still see Brock Lesnar somehow joining the Bloodline, as teaming up Roman and Lesnar hasn’t been done before and Paul Heyman is the connection. Then, with time and possibly after Wrestlemania 40, Lesnar turns on Roman and Heyman sides with Lesnar to officially turn Roman as a babyface. The Usos, after feuding with each other and possibly wrestling against each other at Wrestlemania 40, will reunite after a hard fought match-up.

Everything with the Bloodline DEPENDS on if they can add new pieces to the group, such as what the Nation of Domination and DX did to shake up their groups a bit. You already saw the magic that Sami Zayn added, so hence if Roman reboots the group with more family members or adding Lesnar, it could spice things up.

Honestly, I have full faith in WWE Creative on this one… They’ve highly entertained me for the past 3 years and it has been appreciated. The Bloodline has been easily the best storyline since the Attitude Era.


Thoughts on “The Elite” re-signing with AEW?

There was valid interest in Kenny Omega in the WWE, as the guy can bring it in the Main Event scene when he has a great dance partner. However, I just don’t believe that the WWE wanted the Young Bucks or Hangman Page. For one, Vince McMahon does NOT like Tag Team wrestling, particularly tag teams small in height. Secondly, Page went into business for himself on the promo that set off CM Punk. Nobody in the WWE wants that.

Plus, with Adam “Hangman” Page, I have zero respect for the guy after he jobbed to Joey Ryan at the 2018 “All In” show. What a complete joke.

It’s likely that sports agent Barry Bloom used the slight interest in Kenny Omega as leverage against Tony Khan and with Tony still punch drunk after losing Cody Rhodes, additional urgency was there to re-sign these guys.

Just a bad move for AEW, especially retaining Bucks and Omega as EVPs. As Jeff Meacham adequately put it, pro wrestling has no room for wrestlers acting as player coaches. There’s just too much self-interest at play here for Bucks and Omega to keep themselves strong as wrestlers instead of devoting time to help put over other talents.

I expect some exodus of talent, and I wonder how long CM Punk will last before he blows up again with these guys around.


Could Brock Lesnar ever sign with AEW?

It would take a TON of money… We’re talking above and beyond what the WWE pays him. Lesnar has received contracts where he was paid between $3-5 million per year, but more recently, he’s been paid per major event. In addition, he has perks like being flown on a chartered private jet, which adds significantly to the cost of Lesnar. Brock has GREAT relations with the WWE and it would take a large sum of money to want to break that relationship. Plus, with Endeavor owning the WWE, they’ll want Brock Lesnar to cross promote both WWE and UFC. With time, I could see Lesnar helping to train for BOTH promotions.

Tony would be OUT OF HIS MIND to sign him. For one, Lesnar is 46, so thus those peak in-ring years are coming up soon. WWE has already sacrificed him multiple times for key losses (Reigns, Rollins, and now Cody). And you’d be willing to break the bank for that?

And Shad Khan isn’t stupid… They man didn’t get rich by overpaying on assets at their very peak. No, he bought things cheap. Believe it or not, AEW is on a very tight budget and much of the ex-WWE wrestlers who were released during 2020-2022 got a rude awakening when they joined AEW for much less money. Furthermore, besides CM Punk and maybe Bryan Danielson, wrestlers (besides the EVPs) aren’t making that much money. However with AEW, they give wrestlers flexibility to make more on the side, such as Indy shows, streaming on Twitch, and with merchandise (which WWE disallows).

There’s just no way and with Endeavor buying WWE, they’ll overpay Brock Lesnar themselves to keep him around. And I believe Brock is happy in the WWE. If he truly “shooted” by giving Cody a handshake, that proves that he’s happy and interested in the well-being of the WWE.


What was the Federal Government looking for when they requested documents from the WWE regarding Vince McMahon?

You mean the subpoena that happened right when Vince was having spinal surgery? That convenient one?

I believe it is related to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), or possibly BOTH for expensing his hush money to multiple women (along with John Laurinaitis) to the WWE Corporation. This has major implications based on how the WWE presented its financials not just quarterly, but annually, and has an impact how taxes are assessed and could influence the WWE’s stock price, good or bad. These actions probably caused the WWE to pay (a) less in taxes and (b) changed the way stock was purchased by investors or re-purchased by the WWE Corporation.

Vince McMahon reportedly “paid the WWE” back for 20 years of settlements, but that’s NOT going to solve everything. That doesn’t undo failure to pay taxes on certain things, plus it has many chain effects on the WWE’s stock price. Here’s a crazy scenario… What if a WWE Board Member or Executive BOUGHT stock after the WWE reported financials that were lower than expected BECAUSE one of Vince’s settlements caused the Net Income number to be lower than expected.

That’s what I believe it is… Don’t pay the right amount of taxes, the Government will get you. But if you lie on Financial Statements, we’re getting into a whole big can of worms because you not only have SEC reporting, but year-end accounting statements to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. You know, the legislation that requires an accounting firm to independently sign-off on a corporation’s financials, thanks to the Enrons of the world that were cooking their books.

In my humble opinion, I believe that the quick sale to Endeavor was Vince McMahon’s escape plan to avoid any financial fraud or tax fraud that could be alleged, along with any class action lawsuits due to Vince McMahon’s actions as CEO/President/Board Chairman of WWE. You know, it’s kind of like running for President in hopes of pardoning yourself of all crimes if you win. Exactly like that, and two birds of a feather will always flock together to get out of sticky situations. It’s very likely that Endeavor actually bought WWE cheaper than what it could have been, anticipating a major fine from either the IRS or SEC (or both). When it comes to making money and being above the law, Vince is playing chess when investigators are playing checkers.

I don’t believe it has anything to do with the MLW anti-trust lawsuit, which would be pushed up to the Feds for such claims. This subpoena was specific to Vince McMahon.


What should Bray Wyatt’s role be if he returns?

Look, we tried the entire Fiend experiment from 2019 through 2021 and we tried more goofiness with Uncle Howdy and the returning Firefly Funhouse during late 2022 and early 2023. Complete disasters and I’m still SHOCKED that LA Knight hasn’t been fully damaged from his Royal Rumble 2023 feud with Wyatt.

To me, it’s evident that something is off, inside the ring with Bray, and thus he’s become 100% reliant on SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT stuff to keep him floating along. It hurts more, as you get older, when you take bumps inside the ring. I just don’t think he’s that healthy anymore, and that affects everything from conditioning, motivation, and desire. Can’t blame Creative, as they heavily pushed Fiend above and beyond what it should have been along with multiple World Title changes.

It’s time to do it my way… Plain old Bray Wyatt… No Uncle Howdy, no supernatural BS, and no more puppets. He’s the acknowledged son of IRS/Mike Rotunda and nephew of Barry Windham. Go with that, as pushing him as a next generation wrestler is something they have not tried. Plus, he has a GREAT NAME as “Windham Rotunda”. How cool is that? You wanna talk about Bloodline, holy cow, he’s the branch of 2 great wrestling trees.

I’m over this Supernatural crap with Wyatt, and I don’t want it staining Alexa Bliss’s career, either. Bliss’s best years were during 2016-2017 when it was just her, as a heel, and talking smack on all of the other female wrestlers. Having her carry a doll and adding too much theatrics to her character actually subtracted from her value to the WWE. She hasn’t been the same, since.

Push him as a serious wrestler and if that doesn’t work, then get goofy again, I suppose.


What are your thoughts about Dave Meltzer’s recent star ratings given to events?

I don’t care about anything Dave Meltzer publishes, at this point. Based on his own reporting (sometimes, lack thereof) he has clearly shown his complete bias towards New Japan, California Independent Wrestling, and AEW. It’s funny to me how someone so connected to AEW repeatedly fails at breaking stories on them, as Sean Ross Sapp has repeatedly beat him to the punch on AEW breaking news. Why? Because Meltzer is impaired.

Look, the FACT is that Dave Meltzer gave ZERO 5-star ratings to the WWE from WWE Badd Blood 1997 (Michaels vs. Undertaker) to WWE Money in the Bank 2011 (CM Punk vs. John Cena). Think about that… Lots of great Steve Austin, the Rock, Kurt Angle, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Chris Jericho (before June 2007, of course, but he’s in Dave’s Hall of Fame!!!), Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Edge, and Mick Foley matches YET none of their matches were awarded any 5-star matches. Sorry, but I find that completely hard to believe. Meanwhile, 2 guys could fart inside of a New Japan ring and easily get 5 stars.

He’s a joke because he refused to acknowledge many, many great WWE matches from 1997-2011, while going overboard on his love for New Japan and eventually AEW. Isn’t there a stat out there that shows Dave giving more 5-star+ matches to AEW than WWE and WCW combined? When you hear things like that, you should immediately disqualify Dave Meltzer’s opinions on professional wrestling. He’s a mark for the promotions he loves and that makes him an impaired journalist, if he’s even deserving of that title any longer.

I mean, seriously… Bloodline blows the doors off of everything during 2022, and Dave Meltzer’s newsletter awards Tony Khan as “Booker of the Year”, even though AEW’s viewership numbers dropped the second they destroyed CM Punk’s career there.

All I can say is look at the evidence out there regarding Dave Meltzer… The star ratings, the awards, who gets into his Hall of Fame, etc. Complete clown shoes.


What are your thoughts on CM Punk’s recent actions?

In case you missed it, CM Punk took a shot at Adam “Hangman” Page after the recent AEW Collision went off the air. Now, the Observer Boyz are reporting that wrestlers are being refused from appearing on Collision thanks to CM Punk’s insistence.

Am I surprised? Nope… Things went nuclear last year and were NOT healed. Furthermore, AEW just re-signed Page, Omega, and the Bucks to reported 4 year deals. For the rest of Punk’s tenure, he has to deal with these leaky backstage politicians. With Punk having some creative power over Collision, he’s going to use that power to get any would-be Elite stooge off his show.

This isn’t healthy for a wrestling promotion, at all, and AEW is just lucky that Warner Bros. Discovery is desperate enough for live sports content that they’ll pay $50 million over the course of 2-3 years to air AEW Collision.

As I keep saying… WWE broke him and he’s been very angry and bitter ever since. He used to love the pro wrestling business and then stooges within the WWE and AEW ruined it for him.



So I was listening to Jim Ross‘s recent podcast with Conrad about Talent Relations and I was SHOCKED to hear that Ross almost joined TNA, presumably either during the late 2000s or early 2010s. Maybe even 2013-2016, when he wasn’t in the WWE? He had a great recruiting trip with the Carter family but it was Dixie Carter who apparently nixed the idea. Why? Because Jim Ross wanted FULL control over the TNA roster.

Paul Heyman had a similar interview with TNA during the late 2000s and almost joined but again, he wanted full control over the TNA roster, too.

Folks, TNA or now called Impact could have had Paul Heyman and Jim Ross and they blew both cases. Why? Because Dixie was too attached to many on the existing TNA roster to realize they were working her.

If either guy makes this leap, who knows how pro wrestling’s history would have changed.

Think about it this way… If Paul Heyman or Jim Ross were in TNA, someone like Seth Rollins could have joined them instead of joining the WWE. The roster is revamped, Bischoff, Hogan, and maybe even Russo are out leading to a whole different creative direction that could have worked (or not). If successful, TNA/Impact could get a better television deal and have much higher viewership.

That’s the funny thing about Pro Wrestling… So many moves tipped the scales, and so many pullbacks on big deals prevented something great from happening. Eric Bischoff having Jim Ross released handed the WWE one of the best backstage hands they could ever ask for and his unique for talent helped win the Monday Night War. Think about where Bischoff would be if he somehow kept Ross?

If Paul Heyman is successful in TNA, he’s not returning to the WWE with Brock Lesnar. Maybe he brings Lesnar to TNA in 2012 instead of the WWE? Kaboom!

Dixie Carter, you’re an idiot. Ross and Heyman could have saved your promotion, but you just couldn’t pull the trigger. What a shame.

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