Welcome back to the Excellence in Column writing brought to you exclusively from NoDQ.com and from the Retirement Home. The news headlines are dwindling as the fallout from the AEW EVPs vs. CM Punk situation has been quieting down and Triple H has been settling in as the WWE show runner. Thus, the content that I can provide is also dwindling down, as I loosely follow the shows but no longer care to review any shows. Hence why I wrote a unique column lately, based on a reader request or challenge, on painting up eyelashes.
If you actually read the column in its entirety, which I suspect many people attacking me DID NOT, you’d see that it was more of a comment on how the WWE presents female wrestlers under the watch of Vince McMahon and executive producer Kevin Dunn. Both guys have a significant amount of history of judging women and especially in the case of Vince, treating women poorly. In addition to having excessive eye make-up, we discussed other “enhancements” that guys like Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn expected of female performers. The column was more pointing out the misogyny of the Pro Wrestling business ruled by men like Vince & Kevin than how I personally perceived it. In fact, my column was heavily promoting the NATURAL BEAUTY that most female wrestlers already have and didn’t need excessive make-up cover up their features.
Ironically, the Internet Wrestling Community has been THRASHING Ronda Rousey for her eye make-up choices. Just CRUSHING her and it’s all over the place. Even more ironic, some of the people attacking me for my column were actually the ones ridiculing Ronda Rousey for her make-up choices. So how is that fair? Just recently on Monday, wrestling fans on Twitter got “#FireRondaRousey” started as a Trend worldwide. Others online can rip female wrestlers to shreds all day long, but I write one column suggesting that make-up is covering up the natural beauty of female wrestlers, and it’s like I’m the next coming of the anti-christ.
The heat was piling upon Monday, 11/28, and I made a business decision to DELETE my column commenting on eye make-up of female wrestlers. This was only the THIRD time that I have ever deleted a column out of the 4,000 to 5,000 columns that I’ve estimated to have written. The first was during 1999 while on Lords of Pain, as I was given a tip by an ECW wrestler that their checks were bouncing and I wrote a column about how ECW could be in legitimate financial trouble soon. It was taken down because several ECW officials put heat on a LoP reporter to refute what I posted and the website took it down. Less than 2 years later, my story was actually proven right when ECW closed and Paul Heyman filed for bankruptcy protection. The 2nd was also at LoP, as I wrote a column on a wrestling personality and that wrestling personality contacted me directly to refute what I posted. I agreed with his points made and opted to take the column down myself.
For the eye make-up column, what I didn’t want is to harm the NoDQ brand. Just seemed that unwanted attention was piling up and I don’t want that to hurt webmaster Aaron Rift, whose lifestyle is dependent upon NoDQ’s success, and the other NoDQ content providers. Many could say that I let the “mob win” by taking the column down, but my intent on writing any column is not to create outrageous reactions. I’m trying to inform and make Pro Wrestling better than its current form which is declining in viewership, merchandise sales, and attendance. Most of all, I value WHERE I POST my columns and I don’t want to diminish the credibility of a website for something that I wrote. Oddly enough, I’d argue that I’ve said “much worse” in my prior 4,000 to 5,000 columns written since late October 1998, but I guess I hit a raw nerve over eye make-up and wanting to promote natural beauty over what Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn want to present as female wrestlers or personalities.
But I do want to call-out 2 specific critics, as they really helped drive massive heat towards this column and had unfair criticism lobbied towards the NoDQ website. Pro wrestler Jordynne Grace and Fightful’s news insider Sean Ross Sapp, both of which I’ve actually been highly respectful towards and have actually spoke highly of within my recent columns.
For Jordynne Grace, I had your back during the whole Jim Cornette “Butterface” stuff that was hitting the fan during August 2019. I defended you on that and I stated that Corny went way too far off the deep end with that comment and subsequent comments. I thought highly of you as a talent, and throughout my columns from 2019-2022, I was heavily suggesting that you’d make a GREAT addition to joining WWE or AEW. The documentation is all there from my previous columns.
With Sean Ross Sapp, I have repeatedly said in my columns on how Sean has successfully replaced Dave Meltzer as the #1 insider news reporter and have been heavily praising his work for the past few years. Sean was the one who broke the “CM Punk to AEW” story and I personally congratulated him myself on that scoop. In addition, I once wrote how the WWE should look towards dedicated content providers, such as Sean Ross Sapp and NoDQ’s Aaron Rift, to consider adding to their Creative Team. But I’ve known of Sean’s presence online for a while, as I was well aware of him being friends with various Lords of Pain (LoP) columnists. I’ve seen him get into several nasty online public fights with people throughout the years and there were 2 such instances where I cooled down his antagonists to back off. One was during May 23rd, 2016 when he got into a very personal fight with LoP columnist Chrisss and got really upset after Chrisss took a personal shot at Sean’s companion, insomuch that he challenged Chrisss to a fight for $5,000 (later upped to $7,000). Then, through September 16th of this year, NoDQ’s Virtue was doing his usual Twitter trolling and Sean took the bait and went nuclear on him. In both cases, I told Chrisss and Virtue to “stand down”, as I knew Sean takes things personally online based on previous spats that I’ve seen him get into with others online. Documentation is there in the form of my own columns praising Sean’s work, along with his own Tweets from the incident dates mentioned above.
But what does Jordynne and Sean provide me in return? Negative attacks over a WRESTLING OPINION, and attempting to Retweet something to purposely shame myself and NoDQ. I have never said a negative thing about either one throughout the years. In fact, I have defended or praised both of them repeatedly in my columns. And again, if you read my ENTIRE COLUMN, it wasn’t attack towards women or displaying misogyny on my part. No, it was a discussion on how Pro Wrestling, under Vince McMahon/Kevin Dunn’s influence, have presented female wrestlers. Again – read the ENTIRE COLUMN instead of just the provocative title or the social media hype!
All I can say is this… Never again shall I provide compliments to anyone online, as nobody appreciates them and everyone is so hyper-sensitive online. We keep hearing political discussions on what is politically incorrect or what is “woke”… Yet, it’s often over-reacting to what people think a post is or says, instead of reading the entire piece for complete context. Everybody is in attack mode online, even over the smallest or insignificant things. And look who they are attacking? Someone who either praised them as a wrestler or praised them as a news insider. Makes zero sense, but lots of documentation out there in the form of my columns praising them and their own Tweets of their own online fights are still out there for anyone to review publicly.
It’s a shame, because energy from wrestling fans should be focused on helping promotions improve their product instead of showing over-sensitivity to something like a discussion of eyelid make-up. WWE just forced their President/CEO Vince McMahon to resign because he was legitimately harassing female WWE employees and his perception of women spills over to the Creative direction he has put forth for the WWE and its female characters.
And again, all of you were just ripping Ronda Rousey to SHREDS for her eye make-up at the Survivor Series – War Games premium live event. Then, you got #FireRondaRousey trending on Twitter on the night after that show. But I can’t simply comment on how excessive eye make-up is a product of WWE’s misogny on presenting female wrestlers and how it hides the natural beauty of many female performers?
F’N please with your hypocrisy and hyper-sensitivity.
WWE lost over 2 million United States fans since early 2015 and has been declining on attendance and merchandise sales ever since. AEW has an inexperienced company President who is relying on existing wrestlers that he made as executives and they are struggling to draw 900,000 viewers on a Cable/Satellite station available in about 85 million households. Wrestling fans should care about the quality of the products instead of being sensitive to political or image related issues.
To all of my longtime readers who had my back, I appreciate it as always. Thank you to Aaron Rift as well. My only apology for this column was the negative and unwanted attention it provided to NoDQ. However, I stand by what I wrote and that’s MY OPINION.
We all have opinions… If the opinion is harmful and creates harm for others, then yeah, I understand the heat that it could create. But if it’s over eye liner or lash extensions to call for the cancellation of a writer who has repeatedly stood up for women’s wrestling for the last 20 years, then you’re out of your minds and don’t know what you truly want as wrestling fans. Good God, I was one of the few standing up for the Bella Twins during the early to mid 2010s when the majority of online wrestling fans were wanting them to be terminated. Calling out a writer for eyeliner while turning a blind eye to DECADES of bad misogynistic behavior by the WWE, a company that fans have financially supported, is ridiculous. I’m just an easier target than a billionaire named Vince or I’m not making good enough Kool-aid for you to drink.
In summary, it was just my opinion that maybe female wrestlers were instructed, by the likes of Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn, to put on excessive amounts of make-up that hid the natural beauty of female wrestlers. I also think that it’s a complete injustice for any female wrestler to be pressured into having surgical enhancements, as WWE under the guidance of Vince McMahon, seems to have unwritten rules in place to suggest such things. Sable changed everything in the WWE and they have been chasing her example since Vince and company pushed her to the moon. That’s basically the summary of what I wrote, but yet I’m public enemy #1 for writing such a thing.
On to your questions…
ASK TITO: Your Questions, My Answers
Should AEW let William Regal out of his contract to rejoin the WWE?
Hell yes. If I were Tony Khan, I would want William Regal OUT of my AEW locker room. Why? He is best friends with Triple H. With Triple H in charge, do you really think that Regal and HHH aren’t talking? Please… If Regal truly has a 3 year contract, as Dave Meltzer was struggling to report the other day, then that is going to be 2.5 years of free intel that Triple H will receive from Regal. Any superstar whose contract is coming up, Triple H will somehow know it. Any disgruntled wrestlers in AEW will talk with Regal to possibly fed to the WWE. Any WWE released wrestlers who joined AEW during 2020-2022 will be assured by Regal that “everything is OK” with Triple H now in charge and with Vince McMahon gone.
Having Regal in that AEW locker room creates an open communications line to Triple H for all backstage happenings and talent contract matters. Tony Khan does not need that in his locker room.
Besides, having Regal rejoin the WWE isn’t that great of an idea, anyway. After all, he was part of the NXT braintrust from 2019-2021 that LOST the Wednesday Night Wars against AEW Dynamite. What guarantees that he’d be successful helping Hunter with the main WWE RAW and Smackdown shows? Nothing… He’s a good guy to have around to agent, but we’ve seen him in the authority figure many times and we’ve seen what he can (or cannot) deliver creatively with NXT.
Let Regal go to the WWE, Tony. He won’t significantly help Triple H, as proven by his prior NXT days in which you BEAT HIM during the Wednesday Night Wars and you don’t want him feeding AEW locker room intelligence to his best friend Triple H. Believe me, they talk about it and with Triple H now crowned the WWE king, Regal could be a dangerous spy now within AEW. Just let him go, as he’s just an older wrestler trying to interpret what younger wrestling fans one as an executive. As I’ll keep insisting, his NXT brand lost the Wednesday Night Wars and Tony should be afraid of that returning to WWE. Let him go.
When should Sami Zayn break-up with the Bloodline?
How about never or not anytime soon? Folks, Sami Zayn, after years up on years of being lost on the WWE roster, has found his purpose. He’s actually entertaining as the “Honorary Uce” and has given that group some much needed additional personality, as the Usos and their little brother lack it within the group. Furthermore, I don’t see him returning to be a babyface threat against Roman Reigns. After years of being a midcard wrestler, how can he be pushed as a serious Main Event wrestler?
The Bloodline is perfect with an additional personality who can gets some laughs but also generate some heat by being obnoxious. WWE finally figured out how to use Zayn again, so why ruin it?
I just don’t see him as a credible threat to Roman Reigns unless he starts to compile multiple big singles match wins. Until then, he’s that wrestler who has been a midcarder for many years now.
Let him grow and thrive in the Bloodline.
What do you think of MJF becoming AEW Champion and his comments during the Media Scrum?
Everything is scripted with MJF, always has been. Therefore, what he was shooting on during AEW Dynamite with the curse words and his “shoot” at the Media Scrum were planned. How you know that it has been planned is how easily CM Punk’s real issues with AEW have hijacked any interest in MJF’s anti-AEW angle. All you need to know is how Tony reacted to CM Punk during his Media Scrum versus how Tony reacted to MJF’s promo at the Media Scrum. He was horrified during the Punk one, sitting calmly during MJF’s.
It’s good to see MJF as champion. He’s arguably the best talent that AEW has to offer… I just worry that past Creative decisions made over his character, particularly the Chris Jericho stuff and the clearly contrived anti-Tony Khan attack, will weigh down the significance of him becoming champion. Plus, the whole mess regarding the AEW Championship, as CM Punk has now lost his title twice to interim statuses.
In addition, on the NoDQ Review this past week, I was listening to former WWE, WCW, ECW, and TNA wrestler Big Vito describing MJF as a “little guy with a big mouth”. Looking up MJF’s statistics, he is 5’11” but he is thicker with muscle mass to be around 225 lbs. I don’t know… I like him as a talent, but I just don’t think that AEW is the right environment for him. In my view, he’d thrive in the WWE which is desperate for guys who can actually speak on the microphone.
AEW has become a toxic environment and MJF has a lot to overcome to draw as a wrestler there. When Tony Khan is your Creative Force and he is taking advise directly from Jeff Jarrett, Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, and the Young Bucks… I don’t know how anyone could draw there. Not even CM Punk, who drew initially there but then got stuck in the mud and even he was looking lame. Daniel Bryan (or Bryan Danielson) has been diminished there. Then, you look at Cody Rhodes with his return to the WWE and he looked like a real star again.
What do you think of Kevin Nash’s questioning of how Demolition is not in the WWE Hall of Fame?
Nash is 100% correct. Demolition, in my opinion, is the BEST tag team to ever grace itself in the WWE. Yes, a historically superior Tag Team like the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom did appear in the WWE, but that was after their prime years and they didn’t succeed in the WWE as well as Demolition did with Ax and Smash. Those guys stood out and were cool as hell in a tag team field that was loaded during the late 1980s and early 1990s. They have THE BEST Tag Team title reign of all time in the WWE, which is the real record in my opinion as the New Day and the Usos are both in the Brand Split era.
The problem with Demolition is that Ax & Smash were involved in Concussion lawsuits against the WWE and that is what blacklisted them from joining. Simple as that… Also, Ax has been a bit outspoken on his WWE experience, as WWE tried to replace him with Crush due to “health reasons” which Ax has disagreed with and kept wrestling outside of the WWE to refute that. In addition, Ax had a lawsuit thrown at him during the 1990s when he was performing as “Axis the Destroyer” while looking exactly like the former Demolition Ax character. There’s legal heat, but I’d suggest this was heat from Vince McMahon and NOT Triple H. Ultimate Warrior and Bruno Sammartino has more toxic legal and personal heat with Vince, so thus a reunion could be easily made. Triple H can easily make the argument.
So yes, 100%, Demolition should be in the Hall of Fame and WWE should cater to these 2 legends WHILE THEY ARE STILL ALIVE. That’s the important part. Someone pointed out a 5 on 5 Survivor Series match where Demolition was involved and they are the only 2 members still alive from that match. That’s crazy… So yeah, let’s bring the GREATEST WWE tag team of all time back into the fold and let them be celebrated by the WWE and fans alike.
So they had legal issues with you, so what? Over what? Copyright claims and concussion health claims. Did you hear what the Ultimate Warrior said for the previous decade before you inducted him? And there’s an Ultimate Warrior Award named after him, too, along with lots of merchandising and making his wife part of the WWE Creative Team. Ax and Smash are 1,000 times more respectful and can actually ADD to your current product with their wisdom on how to work, if asked. Both guys were successful under different gimmicks and that’s a quality needed backstage at WWE events. Those guys could legitimately work.
Could you imagine the pop if Triple H was in the center of the ring and he announced the newest members of the Hall of Fame? Vignette plays and then, “here come the Ax, here comes the Smasher” theme song plays and both guys, all painted up, come out to the ring and shake the hands of Triple H to welcome them back? And then you let them have an induction speech at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony to provide great fan service for many long-time WWE fans. Listen, Scott Steiner had even more heat with the WWE based on his comments throughout the years, yet he gave an amazing speech this past year.
Make it so, WWE. Bring Demolition home while both members are STILL ALIVE.
What are your remaining plans as a columnist?
Well, last year, I tried to retire again… And then the Stephanie McMahon taking time off story hit, Vince McMahon stories exploded, and then CM Punk volcano exploded all over AEW. It pulled me back, as I felt there was a LACK of a good written voice to cover those stories in such detail with an adequate opinion to assess what was happening. For example, right after the Vince McMahon allegations came out, I suggested that the “piling on effect” would end his career with the WWE as I suspected more cases would become public. All of you attacked me for that opinion… Then what happened? More stories about women being harassed or having affairs with Vince came out, he was forced to resign. I just didn’t feel that these big stories were being properly assessed online, so I started writing and covering those.
Things are actually calming down now within the WWE and AEW… So I’ll probably just keep an eye out for big stories to maybe write something, but I fear that anything I write lately is just going to be attacked. I can’t express any opinions about how Triple H is running the WWE or how Tony Khan is trying to run AEW without getting mauled by their dedicated online diehard fans of those guys or their promotions. For Triple H, for example, I cite facts like how he was EVP of Talent Relations from mid-2012 through early 2020 and EVP of Creative from late 2013 through Fall of 2019, while also losing the Wednesday Night Wars for NXT… And that gets ignored, as if I simply just hate Triple H. No, I don’t… I just saw his struggles with Creative and Talent during the 2010s and that is a significant reason why the WWE struggles through the early 2020s.
After today’s column, I do intend on writing a 2023 Predictions Column, which is my annual column that I post on 12/31 of each year. It’s my favorite column to write and a gift to my longtime readers… But after today’s column and through 2023, I’m running out of topics to cover without actively watching all of these shows. 2022 was a significant drop in wrestling viewership for me and I expect that to continue for 2023. I can easily write about Vince or Triple H, as I’ve been covering them for 24 years now as a writer while covering Tony since he started up AEW. But outside of that, I’m running out of fastballs.
We’ll do the 2023 Predictions column on 12/31 and then go from there… Unless someone has a bold challenge for me to write about, but a recent bold challenge to write about eyelid make-up got me in some recent trouble. I’ll stop taking requests…
By my count on my 2022 Predictions Column, I have slightly less than half right though I should take credit for my CM Punk prediction that I made on 12/31/21:
#15 – CM Punk won’t remain in AEW by year-end.
Something is off with him… Body language wise, he doesn’t seem to be as excited to wrestle inside the ring as he used to. He’s older, I don’t think AEW was as good as he expected, and his body still has a ton of mileage on it despite the 7+ years off. On top of that, being a straight edge guy disallows him from self-medicating any pain away. At an older age, he’s at risk for injury particularly as he tries to wrestle as his younger self. Keep in mind that during 2012-2013, he received multiple injuries and now we’re 7+ years later. I just don’t see him lasting and he’ll soon realize that his past life of trying acting and making money as a local Chicago celebrity did him just fine.
Totally nailed that prediction. Jon Moxley rejoining WWE, Charlotte being released, or Kevin Dunn being terminated… Not so much.
So just chill ’til the next episode…